Generation of Variants in Listeria monocytogenes Continuous-Flow Biofilms Is Dependent on Radical-Induced DNA Damage and RecA-Mediated Repair

S. van der Veen, T. Abee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The food-borne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes is a Gram-positive microaerophilic facultative anaerobic rod and the causative agent of the devastating disease listeriosis. L. monocytogenes is able to form biofilms in the food processing environment. Since biofilms are generally hard to eradicate, they can function as a source for food contamination. In several occasions biofilms have been identified as a source for genetic variability, which potentially can result in adaptation of strains to food processing or clinical conditions. However, nothing is known about mutagenesis in L. monocytogenes biofilms and the possible mechanisms involved. In this study, we showed that the generation of genetic variants was specifically induced in continuous-flow biofilms of L. monocytogenes, but not in static biofilms. Using specific dyes and radical inhibitors, we showed that the formation of superoxide and hydroxyl radicals was induced in continuous-flow biofilms, which was accompanied with in an increase in DNA damage. Promoter reporter studies showed that recA, which is an important component in DNA repair and the activator of the SOS response, is activated in continuous-flow biofilms and that activation was dependent on radical-induced DNA damage. Furthermore, continuous-flow biofilm experiments using an in-frame recA deletion mutant verified that RecA is required for induced generation of genetic variants. Therefore, we can conclude that generation of genetic variants in L. monocytogenes continuous-flow biofilms results from radical-induced DNA damage and RecA-mediated mutagenic repair of the damaged DNA
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere28590
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume6
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • sos response
  • disinfectant resistance
  • induced mutagenesis
  • egd-e
  • oxygen
  • pathogenesis
  • environment
  • communities
  • superoxide
  • attachment

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