This work describes the response of Lactobacillusvini, a bacterium found as a contaminant in winemaking and fuel ethanol fermentation processes, to acid stress caused by inorganic or weak organic acids. First, we observed for the first time that bacterial cells become resistant to lysis by lysozyme when submitted to acidic stress. Then, the predicted intracellular acidification can be reversed by the presence of arginine, histidine and glutamine. However, these molecules were not able to reverse the effect of resistance to lysis, indicating the independence of these mechanisms. In general, a reduction in the expression of the main genes involved in the synthesis and deposition of material in the cell wall was observed, whereas the genes involved in the reabsorption of this structure showed increased expression. These data suggested that L. vini responds to the acidification of the medium through early entry into the stationary phase, firing two signals for cell wall remodelling and maintenance of intracellular pHin a coordinated way, most probably by alkalization and the proton extrusion process. If this picture is conserved among lactobacilli, it may not only have an impact on research associated with fermentation processes, but also on that associated with probiotic improvement.
We studied Escherichia coli BW25113 growth in a complex medium with emphasis on amino acid consumption. The aim was to profile amino acid utilization in acid-hydrolysed casein and a defined nutrient-rich medium and based on these measurements modify the medium for better growth performance. Amino acid depletions in both media caused apparent biomass growth stops that prolonged growth duration. Obtained amino acid consumption values enabled a new defined medium to be formulated, where no growth stops were observed, the specific growth rate was constant, and the provided substrates were fully utilized. Similarly, we modified the acid-hydrolysed casein medium by adding pure amino acids that removed the apparent biomass growth stops. Key to our results was the combination of growth medium analysis and process monitoring data, specifically oxygen partial pressure and produced carbon dioxide that were used to track growth changes. Our findings showed the deficiencies of the nutrient-rich medium and how rational medium design, based on consumption values, removed these shortcomings. The resulting balanced medium gives a high specific growth rate and is suitable for studying E. coli physiology at fast growth.
Escherichia coli strain 15 (ATCC 9723) formed robust biofilms of two distinct forms on glass tubes. In rich, low-osmolarity medium, the biofilms were restricted to the air/liquid interface, resulting in rings attached to the glass. As it was not evident that these biofilms extended across the liquid surface, we termed them ‘ring’ rather than ‘pellicle’ biofilms. In minimal medium supplemented with a non-fermentable substrate as the carbon/energy source, we observed either robust ring biofilms or little biofilm of any type, depending on the substrate. In contrast, fermentable substrates (sugars and sugar derivatives) supported robust biofilms covering most of the solid/liquid interface, which we termed ‘tube-covering biofilms’. Maximal biofilm growth was observed when the sugar was a relatively poor substrate, supporting slow growth and known to cause minimal dephosphorylation of regulatory protein Enzyme IIAGlucose of the phosphotransferase system. Compounds found to be inhibitors of biofilm growth, such as lactate, caused a shift from tube-covering to ring form at low concentration and complete loss of biofilm growth at high when added to minimal medium supplemented with a fermentable substrate. Exogenous cAMP activated biofilm growth under all conditions tested, leading to more intense ring or tube-covering biofilms and/or to a shift from ring to tube-covering form.