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J Appl Microbiol. 2011 Jun;110(6):1601-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2011.05016.x. Epub 2011 Apr 20.

Resuscitation of Escherichia coli VBNC cells depends on a variety of environmental or chemical stimuli.

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1
Center for Biodiversity, Functional and Integrative Genomics (BioFIG), Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal.

Abstract

AIMS:

To analyse viable but nonculturable (VBNC) state induction in Escherichia coli and resuscitation of VBNC suspensions in several conditions.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

VBNC were induced in four media, two temperatures and six strains, but only cells produced at 4°C were able to resuscitate. Resuscitation of 14 VBNC suspensions obtained in several conditions occurred in the presence of supernatants of growing cells, in minimal medium supplemented with amino acids or after temperature change, depending on strain. A limited time period beyond no more resuscitation that could be observed was also confirmed.

CONCLUSIONS:

The supernatants positive effect is suggested to be because of a nonproteinaceous molecule, and a combination of methionine, glutamine, threonine, serine and asparagine could be used as primary mix for resuscitation experiments.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

Escherichia coli resuscitation was already attempted in several conditions, but it is the first time that a positive result was observed in minimal medium supplemented with amino acids or after temperature change. The role of amino acids in resuscitation is of special interest since was never reported for any species.

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