Cell-Membrane Hydrophobicity of L. monocytogenes is Modulated by Propionate and Oxygen Levels
Angela Murrin, Matthew Austin
Bacterial hydrophobicity is a key envelope property relevant to pathogenesis and adhesion to surfaces in various food processing and healthcare settings. How hydrophobicity is modulated by environmental conditions is often unclear. In this project, we investigated how two relevant environmental signals, propionate and oxygen, influence bacterial hydrophobicity. Our model organism is Listeria monocytogenes, a Gram-positive foodborne pathogen capable of causing infections with high mortality rates. Despite stringent sanitation procedures, L. monocytogenes persists in the food processing environment and often causes costly food recalls as well as outbreaks. It is unclear whether the cell-surface hydrophobicity of L. monocytogenes contributes to the persistence and how the hydrophobicity may be modulated by environmental signals. Therefore, using various non-polar, organic reagents and a modified procedure from Salas-Tovar et al., the cell-surface hydrophobicity of L. monocytogenes strain 10403s under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions was analyzed. Preliminary results suggest that the types of non-polar reagents used in the study can influence the hydrophobicity estimates. Furthermore, bacteria grown in aerobic conditions exhibited a higher level of hydrophobicity than those grown in anaerobic conditions. Bacterial cultures grown in the presence of a 25 mM concentration of propionate also exhibited a higher level of hydrophobicity than those grown without propionate. These results suggest that hydrophobicity of L. monocytogenes can be modulated by oxygen levels as well as propionate.
Course Project 202280 BIO 421 P2
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium, College of Arts and Sciences
Institutional Learning Goals
"Cell-Membrane Hydrophobicity of L. monocytogenes is Modulated by Propionate and Oxygen Levels" (2023). Stander Symposium Projects. 2870.