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Autoinducer-2 properties of kimchi are associated with lactic acid bacteria involved in its fermentation

Park, Hyunjoon, Shin, Heuynkil, Lee, Kyuyeon, Holzapfel, Wilhelm
International journal of food microbiology 2016 v.225 pp. 38-42
Lactobacillus curvatus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus sakei, Leuconostoc, Weissella, biofilm, bioluminescence, fermentation, food microbiology, food preservation, food spoilage, genes, intestinal microorganisms, kimchi, lactic acid bacteria, pathogenicity, pathogens, quorum sensing
Bacteria use the cell density-dependent quorum signalling system to regulate particular gene expressions. In food microbiology, signalling is well known for its relation to (foodborne) pathogenicity, food spoilage, and biofilm formation. Quorum quenching and inhibition are thus being considered as a feasible approach in food preservation and safety. In the case of the luxS-mediated universal quorum sensing using autoinducer-2 (AI-2), however, it could be a different issue. Several studies have reported a luxS AI-2 synthase homologue in numerous bacteria, comprising both pathogens and beneficial strains. A recent study has shown the AI-2 signal to restore the balance of the major phyla of the gut microbiota in antibiotic-induced dysbiosis. We measured the AI-2 activity of the lactic fermented food, kimchi, and found different AI-2 signalling intensities. In order to trace the origin of the signal production, we obtained 229 lactic acid bacterial isolates from the kimchi samples, and detected the AI-2 properties of each isolate using a modified AI-2 bioluminescence assay. Our results showed isolates of dominant species of the genera Lactobacillus, Weissella and Leuconostoc which either produced or inhibited the AI-2 signal. No isolate of the dominant species Lactobacillus sakei (75 isolates) and Lactobacillus curvatus (28 isolates) showed AI-2 producing activity, while AI-2 inhibition could not be detected for any of the 31 Lactobacillus plantarum isolates. These results suggest the AI-2 activity of kimchi to result from the interaction of the associated microbial food cultures (MFCs) during fermentation. Thus far, only sparse information is available on AI-2 signalling interaction in fermented food, however, we suggest that fermented food may be a supplier of AI-2 signalling molecules via typical MFCs.