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J Appl Bacteriol. 1993 Aug;75(2):113-22.

Antimicrobial activity of lactic acid bacteria isolated from sour doughs: purification and characterization of bavaricin A, a bacteriocin produced by Lactobacillus bavaricus MI401.

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Department of Dairy and Food Science, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Frederiksberg, Denmark.


Three hundred and thirty-five lactic acid bacteria were isolated from sour doughs and screened for antagonistic activity. Of these 145 showed activity against one or several of the indicator strains used in the screening. The antimicrobial activity of 18 isolates were due to a proteinaceous compound. These 18 isolates belonged to three different Lactobacillus species: Lactobacillus bavaricus, Lactobacillus curvatus and Lactobacillus plantarum. The spectrum of antimicrobial activity for the three species suggested that the inhibitory components were different. The inhibitory compound from Lact. bavaricus MI401 was chosen for further study. The proteinaceous nature, antimicrobial activity against closely-related species, heat resistance and sensitivity to alkaline treatment strongly indicated that this substance was a bacteriocin, which we designated bavaricin A. The bacteriocin was purified to homogeneity by ammonium sulphate precipitation, ion exchange, hydrophobic interaction and reverse-phase chromatography. The purification resulted in 193,000-fold increase in specific activity. SDS-PAGE of bavaricin A showed a molecular weight of 3500-4000 Da. By amino acid sequencing 41 amino acids were determined. Bavaricin A had a bactericidal mode of action and inhibited nine out of 10 Listeria monocytogenes. Lactobacillus bavaricus MI401 produced bavaricin A at temperatures from 4 degrees C to 30 degrees C. The production of active bavaracin A was inhibited at increasing sodium chloride concentration. In the presence of 3% sodium chloride at 4 degrees C no active bavaricin A could be detected. Nitrite (100 ppm) did not affect the production of active bavaricin A.

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