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Applied and environmental microbiology

Survival of Listeria monocytogenes in Soil Requires AgrA-Mediated Regulation.


PMID 26002901

Abstract

In a recent paper, we demonstrated that inactivation of the Agr system affects the patterns of survival of Listeria monocytogenes (A.-L. Vivant, D. Garmyn, L. Gal, and P. Piveteau, Front Cell Infect Microbiol 4:160, http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcimb.2014.00160). In this study, we investigated whether the Agr-mediated response is triggered during adaptation in soil, and we compared survival patterns in a set of 10 soils. The fate of the parental strain L. monocytogenes L9 (a rifampin-resistant mutant of L. monocytogenes EGD-e) and that of a ΔagrA deletion mutant were compared in a collection of 10 soil microcosms. The ΔagrA mutant displayed significantly reduced survival in these biotic soil microcosms, and differential transcriptome analyses showed large alterations of the transcriptome when AgrA was not functional, while the variations in the transcriptomes between the wild type and the ΔagrA deletion mutant were modest under abiotic conditions. Indeed, in biotic soil environments, 578 protein-coding genes and an extensive repertoire of noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) were differentially transcribed. The transcription of genes coding for proteins involved in cell envelope and cellular processes, including the phosphotransferase system and ABC transporters, and proteins involved in resistance to antimicrobial peptides was affected. Under sterilized soil conditions, the differences were limited to 86 genes and 29 ncRNAs. These results suggest that the response regulator AgrA of the Agr communication system plays important roles during the saprophytic life of L. monocytogenes in soil.