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Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 1983 Sep;49(3):259-74.

Functional properties of plasmids in lactic streptococci.


Plasmid biology has become an important area of investigation in dairy starter cultures since it now appears that some properties, vital for successful milk fermentations, are coded by genes located on plasmid DNA. Some of these metabolic properties observed in lactic streptococci have been clearly established as being plasmid-mediated. Examples would be lactose utilization and in Streptococcus lactis subsp. diacetylactis the ability to produce a bacteriocin-like substance. Phenotypic and physical evidence for plasmid linkage has been obtained for other traits such as citrate, sucrose, galactose, glucose, mannose, and xylose utilization, proteinase activity, modification/restriction systems, as well as for nisin production. Further genetic evidence is now needed to confirm plasmid association to these properties. For some characteristics the association with plasmids is highly speculative and is solely based on the phenotypic loss of a metabolic property. In this category would be sensitivity to agglutinins, sensitivity to the lactoperoxidase-thiocyanate-hydrogen peroxide inhibitory system, arginine hydrolysis, and slime production. Other properties which appear plasmid-mediated in lactic streptococci and which will be discussed include inorganic ion resistance, drug resistance, and diplococcin production.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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