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Int J Food Microbiol. 2002 Apr 5;74(3):203-16.

Osmoregulation and its importance to food-borne microorganisms.

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Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Aberdeen, Institute of Medical Sciences, Scotland, UK.


The control of water activity has been used as a means of preserving foods for thousands of years. This preservation strategy presents food-borne microorganisms with serious problems, many of which relate to the management of water flow. Although the specific details of how each organism deals with these problems are different, several common themes have emerged. Bacteria induce specific responses. both physiological and genetic, to respond to either the loss or the gain of water, triggered by changes in the osmolarity of the environment. Many of the key systems have now been identified and the mechanisms of their regulation are beginning to be understood. Here we review recent developments in the field of bacterial osmoregulation with emphasis on key food-borne genera.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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