Comparative phenotype and transcriptome analyses were performed with Bacillus cereus ATCC 14579 exposed to pH 5.5 set with different acidulants including hydrochloric acid (HCl), lactic acid (HL) and acetic acid (HAc). Phenotypes observed included a decreased growth rate (with HCl), bacteriostatic and bactericidal conditions, with 2 mM undissociated HAc or HL, and 15 mM undissociated HAc, respectively. In the latter condition a concomitant decrease in intracellular ATP levels was observed. The transcriptome analyses revealed general and specific responses to the acidulants used. The general acid stress response includes modulation of pyruvate metabolism with activation of the butanediol fermentation pathway, and an oxidative stress response that was, however, more extensive in the bacteriostatic and bactericidal conditions. HL-specific and HAc-specific responses include modulation of metabolic pathways for amino acid metabolism. Activation of lactate, formate, and ethanol fermentation pathways, alternative electron-transport chain components and fatty acid biosynthesis genes was noted in the presence of 15 mM undissociated HAc. In conclusion, our study has provided insights in phenotype-associated, and general and acidulant-specific responses in B. cereus.
- gram-positive bacteria
- tolerance response
Transcriptomic and physiological responses of Bacillus cereus to organic and inorganic acid down-shocks