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Expression of genes associated with stress conditions by Listeria monocytogenes in interaction with nisin producer Lactococcus lactis

Miranda, Rodrigo Otávio, Campos-Galvão, Maria Emilene Martino, Nero, Luís Augusto
Food research international 2018 v.105 pp. 897-904
Lactococcus lactis, Listeria monocytogenes, bacteria, coculture, food pathogens, gene expression, genes, nisin, skim milk
The use of nisin producers in foods is considered a mitigation strategy to control foodborne pathogens growth, such as Listeria monocytogenes, due to the production of this bacteriocin in situ. However, when the bacteriocin does not reach an adequate concentration, the target bacteria can develop a cross-response to different stress conditions in food, such as acid, thermal and osmotic. This study aimed to evaluate the interaction of a nisin-producing strain of Lactococcus lactis DY-13 and L. monocytogenes in BHI and skim milk, and its influence on general (sigB), acid (gadD2), thermal (groEL) and osmotic (gbu) stress-related genes of the pathogen. L. monocytogenes populations decreased approximately 2log in BHI and 1log in milk after 24h in co-culture with the nisin producer L. lactis, coherent with the increasing expression of nisK. Expression of stress-related genes by L. monocytogenes presented lower oscillation in BHI than in milk, indicating its better ability to survive in milk, despite the higher nisin production. Stress-related genes presented a varied expression by L. monocytogenes in the tested conditions: sigB expression remained stable or reduced over time; gadD2 presented high expression in milk; groEL presented low expression in BHI when compared to milk, trending to decrease overtime; gbu expression in milk after 24h was lower than in BHI. The presented study demonstrated the growth of a nisin producer L. lactis can affect the expression of stress-related genes by L. monocytogenes, and understating these mechanisms is crucial to enhance the conservation methods employed in foods.