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Int J Food Microbiol. 2008 Nov 30;128(1):122-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2008.08.002. Epub 2008 Aug 9.

Effect of capric, lauric and alpha-linolenic acids on the division time distributions of single cells of Staphylococcus aureus.

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1
Dipartimento di Scienze degli Alimenti (DISA), University of Bologna, Campus Scienze degli Alimenti, Pzza Goidanich, 60, 47023 Cesena, Italy. sylvain@alma.unibo.it

Abstract

The effect of non-inhibitory concentrations of capric, lauric and alpha-linolenic acids (C10:0, C12:0 and C18:3 respectively) on the division time distribution of single cells of Staphylococcus aureus was evaluated at pH 7 and pH 5. The effect of the initial cell concentration on the lag time of growing cell populations was also assessed. The statistical properties of the division times (defined as the time interval from birth to next binary fission for a single cell) were studied using the method of Elfwing et al. [Elfwing, A., Le Marc, Y., Baranyi, J., Ballagi, A., 2004. Observing the growth and division of large number of individual bacteria using image analysis. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 70, 675-678]. The division times were significantly longer in the presence of free fatty acids than in the control. Shorter division intervals were detected at pH 7 than at pH 5 in the control experiment and in the presence of C10:0. However, both C12:0 and C18:3 slowed down the growth, regardless of the pH. The observed division time distributions were used to simulate growth curves from different inoculum sizes using the stochastic birth process described by Pin and Baranyi [Pin, C., Baranyi, J., 2006. Kinetics of single cells: observation and modelling of a stochastic process. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 72, 2163-2169]. The output of the simulation results were compared with observed data. The lag times fitted to simulated growth curves were in good agreement with those fitted to growth curves measured by plate counts. The averaged out effect of the population masked the effect of the free fatty acids and pH on the division times of single cells.

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