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Arch Microbiol. 2004 Jan;181(1):8-16. Epub 2003 Nov 29.

Production of plantaricin NC8 by Lactobacillus plantarum NC8 is induced in the presence of different types of gram-positive bacteria.

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Departamento de Biotecnología de Alimentos, Instituto de la Grasa, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Avda. Padre García Tejero, 4, Aptdo. 1078, 41012 Seville, Spain.


Lactobacillus plantarum NC8 was shown to produce plantaricin NC8 (PLNC8), a recently purified and genetically characterized inducible class IIb bacteriocin, only when it was co-cultured with other gram-positive bacteria. Among 82 strains belonging to the genera Bacillus, Enterococcus, Lactobacillus, Lactococcus, Leuconostoc, Listeria, Pediococcus, Staphylococcus, and Streptococcus, 41 were shown to induce PLNC8 production in L. plantarum NC8. There was apparently no relationship between the sensitivity of the strains and their ability to induce the bacteriocin, indicating that the inducer and sensitive phenotypes may not be linked. In some instances, induction was promoted by both living and heat-killed cells of the inducing bacteria. However, no PLNC8-inducing activity was found in the respective cell-free, pure culture supernatants. Inducer strains also promoted the production of a PLNC8-autoinducing activity by L. plantarum NC8, which was found only in the cell-free co-culture supernatants showing inhibitory activity. This PLNC8-autoinducing activity was diffusible, heat resistant, and of a proteinaceous nature, and was different from the bacteriocin itself. Taken together, the results suggest that the presence of specific gram-positive bacteria acts as an environmental stimulus activating both PLNC8 production by L. plantarum NC8 and a PLNC8-autoinducing activity, which in turn triggers or maintains bacteriocin production in the absence of inducing cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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