Enhanced stress resistance of Bifidobacterium breve NRBB57 by induction of stress proteins at near-zero growth rates

A.R. Ortiz Camargo, O. Van Mastrigt, R.S. Bongers, K. Ben-Amor, J. Knol, E.J. Smid, T. Abee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Bifidobacterium breve is a common habitant of the human gut and is used as probiotic in functional foods. B. breve has to cope with multiple stress conditions encountered during processing and passage through the human gut, including high temperature, low pH and exposure to oxygen. Additionally, during industrial processing and in the gut, B. breve could encounter nutrient limitation resulting in reduced growth rates that can trigger adaptive stress responses. For this reason, it is important to develop culture methods that elicit resistance to multiple stresses (robustness) encountered by the bacteria. To investigate the impact of caloric restriction on robustness of the probiotic B. breve NRBB57, this strain was grown in lactose-limited chemostat cultures and in retentostat for 21 days, at growth rates ranging from 0.4 h-1 to 0.00081 h-1. Proteomes of cells harvested at different growth rates were correlated to acid, hydrogen peroxide and heat stress survival capacity. Comparative proteome analysis showed that retentostat-grown cells had significantly increased abundance of a variety of stress proteins involved in protein quality maintenance and DNA repair (DnaJ, Hsp90, FtsH, ClpB, ClpP1, ClpC, GroES, RuvB, RecA), as well as proteins involved in oxidative stress defence (peroxiredoxin, ferredoxin, thioredoxin peroxidase, glutaredoxin and thioredoxin reductase). Exposure to three different stress conditions, 45 °C, pH 3, and 10 mM H2O2, showed highest stress resistance of retentostat cells sampled at week 2 and week 3 grown at 0.0018 and 0.00081 h-1. Our findings show that cultivation at near-zero growth rates induces higher abundance of stress defence proteins contributing to the robustness of B. breve NRBB57, thereby offering an approach that may support its production and functionality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-94
Number of pages10
JournalBeneficial Microbes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2023


  • probiotic
  • proteomics
  • retentostat
  • robustness
  • stress response


Dive into the research topics of 'Enhanced stress resistance of Bifidobacterium breve NRBB57 by induction of stress proteins at near-zero growth rates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this