Listeria monocytogenes can change its cellular morphology from bacilli to cocci during the transition to the long-term-survival (LTS) phase. The LTS cells demonstrated increased baro- and thermotolerance compared to their vegetative counterparts. So far, the underlying mechanisms that trigger this morphological and physiological transition remain largely unknown. In this study, we compared the transcriptomic profiles of L. monocytogenes serotype 4b strain F2365 at different growth stages in tryptic soy broth with yeast extract (TSBYE) using a whole-genome DNA chip approach. We identified a total of 225 differentially expressed genes (≥4-fold; P > 0.05) during the transition to the LTS phase in TSBYE. Genes related to cell envelope structure, energy metabolism, and transport were most significantly upregulated in the LTS phase. The upregulation of compatible solute transporters may lead to the accumulation of cellular solutes, lowering intracellular water activity and thus increasing bacterial stress resistance during the transition to the LTS phase. The downregulation of genes associated with protein synthesis may indicate a status of metabolic dormancy of the LTS cells. The transcriptomic profiles of resuscitated LTS cells in fresh TSBYE resembled those of log-phase cells (r = 0.94), as the LTS cells rapidly resume metabolic activities and transit back to log phase with decreased baro- and thermotolerance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology