Send to

Choose Destination
Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2018 Jan;102(1):333-343. doi: 10.1007/s00253-017-8561-5. Epub 2017 Oct 29.

Vibrational spectroscopy combined with transcriptomic analysis for investigation of bacterial responses towards acid stress.

Author information

CSIRO Agriculture and Food, 671 Sneydes Road, Werribee, VIC, 3030, Australia.
Centre for Biospectroscopy, School of Chemistry, Monash University, Clayton, VIC, 3800, Australia.
Infection and Immunity Program, Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Department of Microbiology, Monash University, Clayton, VIC, 3800, Australia.
CSIRO Agriculture and Food, 671 Sneydes Road, Werribee, VIC, 3030, Australia.


The ability of bacteria to tolerate acid stress plays an important role in their growth and survival. In particular, aciduric bacteria have several survival systems that prevent cell damage from acid stress. In this study, the effect of the bacterial stress induced by pre-adaptation at different pH values on the cellular macromolecules of Lactobacillus plantarum was investigated using Raman spectroscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The expression of key genes was also quantified to provide understanding of the transcriptional response of the cells to lethal acid stress conditions. Principal component analysis of the spectra exhibited marked differences in the spectral regions associated with carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids for all acid-stressed cells compared to those of untreated control cells. The changes in spectroscopic and transcriptomic profiles that were observed revealed alterations in bacterial cell wall composition after acid treatment. The results suggest the existence of a complex bacterial stress response in which modifications of cellular compounds from pre-adaption at low pH are involved. This study demonstrates the potential application of vibrational spectroscopy techniques to discriminate between intact and injured bacterial cells as well as to study their stress responses after exposure to acid environments during food processing.


Acid stress response; Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy; Gene expression; Lactobacillus plantarum; Raman spectroscopy


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center