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PLoS One. 2011 Jan 6;6(1):e16192. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0016192.

Global transcriptional analysis of spontaneous sakacin P-resistant mutant strains of Listeria monocytogenes during growth on different sugars.

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Nofima Mat AS, Ås, Norway.


Subclass IIa bacteriocins have strong antilisterial activity and can control the growth of Listeria monocytogenes in food. However, L. monocytogenes may develop resistance towards such bacteriocins. In this follow-up study, the transcriptomes of a high level (L502-1) and a low level (L502-6) spontaneous sakacin P-resistant mutant strain of L. monocytogenes were compared to the wild-type (L502). The growth of the resistant strains was reduced on mannose but not affected on cellobiose and the transcriptomics was performed during growth on these sugars. The mannose phosphotransferase system (PTS) encoded by the mptACD operon (mpt) is known for transporting mannose and also act as a receptor to class IIa bacteriocins. The mpt was repressed in L502-1 and this is in accordance with abolition of the bacteriocin receptor with resistance to class IIa bacteriocins. In contrast, the mpt was induced in L502-6. Despite the induction of the mpt, L502-6 showed 1,000 times more resistance phenotype and reduced growth on mannose suggesting the mannose-PTS may not be functional in L502-6. The microarray data suggests the presence of other transcriptional responses that may be linked to the sakacin P resistance phenotype particularly in L502-6. Most of commonly regulated genes encode proteins involved in transport and energy metabolism. The resistant strains displayed shift in general carbon catabolite control possibly mediated by the mpt. Our data suggest that the resistant strains may have a reduced virulence potential. Growth sugar- and mutant-specific responses were also revealed. The two resistant strains also displayed difference in stability of the sakacin P resistance phenotype, growth in the presence of both the lytic bacteriophage P100 and activated charcoal. Taken together, the present study showed that a single time exposure to the class IIa bacteriocin sakacin P may elicit contrasting phenotypic and transcriptome responses in L. monocytogenes possibly through regulation of the mpt.

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