Quorum-Sensing Regulation of Constitutive Plantaricin by Lactobacillus plantarum Strains under a Model System for Vegetables and Fruits
Di Cagno R
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This study aimed at investigating the regulatory system of bacteriocin synthesis by Lactobacillus plantarum strains in vegetables and fruits in a model system. Sterile and neutralized cell-free supernatant (CFS) from L. plantarum strains grown in MRS broth showed in vitro antimicrobial activities toward various indicator strains. The highest activity was that of L. plantarum C2. The antimicrobial activity was further assayed on vegetable and fruit agar plates (solid conditions) and in juices (liquid conditions). A regulatory mechanism of bacteriocin synthesis via quorum sensing was hypothesized. The synthesis of antimicrobial compounds seemed to be constitutive under solid conditions of growth on vegetable and fruit agar plates. In contrast, it depended on the size of the inoculum when L. plantarum C2 was grown in carrot juice. Only the inoculum of ca. 9.0 log CFU ml(-1) produced detectable activity. The genes plnA, plnEF, plnG, and plnH were found in all L. plantarum strains. The genes plnJK and plnN were detected in only three or four strains. Reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography purification and mass spectrometry analysis revealed the presence of a mixture of eight peptides in the most active fraction of the CFS from L. plantarum C2. Active peptides were encrypted into bacteriocin precursors, such as plantaricins PlnJ/K and PlnH and PlnG, which are involved in the ABC transport system. A real-time PCR assay showed an increase in the expression of plnJK and plnG during growth of L. plantarum C2 in carrot juice.