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Food Microbiol. 2009 Sep;26(6):592-7. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2009 Apr 19.

Stress resistance of biofilm and planktonic Lactobacillus plantarum subsp. plantarum JCM 1149.

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  • 1Safety Science Research Laboratories, Kao Corporation, 2006 Akabane, Ichikai, Haga, Tochigi 321-3497, Japan.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the change in resistance of biofilm and planktonic food spoilage lactic acid bacteria (LAB) to environmental stresses, which strongly inhibit bacterial growth and are important in food preservation or in disinfection. The stress responses of biofilm and planktonic cells of Lactobacillus plantarum subsp. plantarum JCM 1149, which was used as a model spoilage bacterium, in various organic acids (namely, acetic acid, citric acid, lactic acid, and malic acid), ethanol, and sodium hypochlorite, were investigated using survival tests. The bacterial cells in biofilms showed greater resistance to all treatments than the planktonic bacterial cells in either the stationary or logarithmic phase. The planktonic bacterial cells showed reduced resistance to acetic acid after the cell suspension was diluted; however, intriguingly, the bacterial cells in biofilms maintained their resistance to acetic acid even after they were suspended or the cell suspension was diluted. These findings suggested the risk for food spoilage due to LAB derived from biofilms and suspended or diluted in foods, and demonstrated the importance of controlling biofilms of LAB in the food industry.

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