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J Food Prot. 2006 Apr;69(4):826-34.

Formation of biofilm at different nutrient levels by various genotypes of Listeria monocytogenes.

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Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Georgia, Athens 30602-7610, USA.


Strains of Listeria monocytogenes differ in their ability to form biofilms. The objectives of this study were to determine whether genetically related strains have similar biofilm-forming capacities and what effect nutrient concentration has on the ability of different strains to produce biofilms. Biofilms of 30 strains of L. monocytogenes, obtained from a variety of sources were grown on stainless steel in tryptic soy broth (TSB) or in a 1:10 dilution of TSB (DTSB) for 24 h at 32 degrees C. The amount of biofilm formed was determined with image analysis after cells were stained with bisBenzimide H 33258 (Hoechst 33258). The strains were genetically subtyped by repetitive element sequence-based PCR (rep-PCR) with the primer set rep-PRODt and rep-PROG5. Data were analyzed with an analysis of variance and Duncan's multiple range test. Eleven strains produced the same amount of biofilm in both media. Fourteen strains produced more biofilm in TSB than in DTSB. Five strains produced more biofilm in DTSB than in TSB. Serotype 4b strains produced more biofilm in TSB than did serotype 1/2a strains, whereas serotype 1/2a strains produced more biofilm in DTSB than did serotype 4b strains. Growth in DTSB resulted in decreased biofilm accumulation for serotype 4b strains. There was no correlation between genetic subtype and the amount of biofilm accumulation. These results indicate that strains of serotype 1/2a and serotype 4b differ in the regulation of their biofilm phenotype. The poor biofilm accumulation of serotype 4b isolates when grown in DTSB could be a factor in the predominance of serogroup 1/2 strains in food processing plants, where nutrients may be limited.

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