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Applied and environmental microbiology

Cell surface characteristics of Lactobacillus casei subsp. casei, Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei, and Lactobacillus rhamnosus strains.


PMID 9143109

Abstract

Hydrophilic and electrostatic cell surface properties of eight Lactobacillus strains were characterized by using the microbial adhesion to solvents method and microelectrophoresis, respectively. All strains appeared relatively hydrophilic. The strong microbial adhesion to chloroform, an acidic solvent, in comparison with microbial adhesion to hexadecane, an apolar n-alkane, demonstrated the particularity of lactobacilli to have an important electron donor and basic character and consequently their potential ability to generate Lewis acid-base interactions with a support. Regardless of their electrophoretic mobility (EM), strains were in general slightly negatively charged at alkaline pH. A pH-dependent behavior concerning cell surface charges was observed. The EM decreased progressively with more acidic pHs for the L. casei subsp. casei and L. paracasei subsp. paracasei strains until the isoelectric point (IEP), i.e., the pH value for which the EM is zero. On the other hand, the EM for the L. rhamnosus strains was stable from pH 8 to pH 3 to 4, at which point there was a shift near the IEP. Both L. casei subsp. casei and L. paracasei subsp. paracasei strains were characterized by an IEP of around 4, whereas L. rhamnosus strains possessed a markedly lower IEP of 2. The present study showed that the cell surface physicochemical properties of lactobacilli seem to be, at least in part and under certain experimental conditions, particular to the bacterial species. Such differences detected between species are likely to be accompanied by some particular changes in cell wall chemical composition.

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