Mixed-culture transcriptome analysis reveals the molecular basis of mixed-culture growth in Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus

S. Sieuwerts, D. Molenaar, S.A.F.T. van Hijum, M. Beerthuyzen, M.J.A. Stevens, P.W. Janssen, C.J. Ingham, F.A.M. de Bok, W.M. de Vos, J.E.T. van Hylckama Vlieg

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Abstract

Many food fermentations are performed using mixed cultures of lactic acid bacteria. Interactions between strains are of key importance for the performance of these fermentations. Yogurt fermentation by Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus (basonym, Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus) is one of the best-described mixed-culture fermentations. These species are believed to stimulate each other's growth by the exchange of metabolites such as folic acid and carbon dioxide. Recently, postgenomic studies revealed that an upregulation of biosynthesis pathways for nucleotides and sulfur-containing amino acids is part of the global physiological response to mixed-culture growth in S. thermophilus, but an in-depth molecular analysis of mixed-culture growth of both strains remains to be established. We report here the application of mixed-culture transcriptome profiling and a systematic analysis of the effect of interaction-related compounds on growth, which allowed us to unravel the molecular responses associated with batch mixed-culture growth in milk of S. thermophilus CNRZ1066 and L. bulgaricus ATCC BAA-365. The results indicate that interactions between these bacteria are primarily related to purine, amino acid, and long-chain fatty acid metabolism. The results support a model in which formic acid, folic acid, and fatty acids are provided by S. thermophilus. Proteolysis by L. bulgaricus supplies both strains with amino acids but is insufficient to meet the biosynthetic demands for sulfur and branched-chain amino acids, as becomes clear from the upregulation of genes associated with these amino acids in mixed culture. Moreover, genes involved in iron uptake in S. thermophilus are affected by mixed-culture growth, and genes coding for exopolysaccharide production were upregulated in both organisms in mixed culture compared to monocultures. The confirmation of previously identified responses in S. thermophilus using a different strain combination demonstrates their generic value. In addition, the postgenomic analysis of the responses of L. bulgaricus to mixed-culture growth allows a deeper understanding of the ecology and interactions of this important industrial food fermentation process
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7775-7784
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume76
Issue number33
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • lactic-acid bacteria
  • microarray data
  • milk
  • metabolism
  • plantarum
  • delbrueckii
  • pathways
  • yogurt
  • identification
  • proteinases

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    Sieuwerts, S., Molenaar, D., van Hijum, S. A. F. T., Beerthuyzen, M., Stevens, M. J. A., Janssen, P. W., ... van Hylckama Vlieg, J. E. T. (2010). Mixed-culture transcriptome analysis reveals the molecular basis of mixed-culture growth in Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 76(33), 7775-7784. https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.01122-10