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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Occurrence of proteolytic activity and N-acyl-homoserine lactone signals in the spoilage of aerobically chill-stored proteinaceous raw foods.

Proteolytic pseudomonads dominate the spoilage flora of aerobically chill-stored proteinaceous raw foods. Proteolysis during spoilage of these food systems affects both food quality and the dynamics of the bacterial community because it increases the availability of nutrients to the community as a whole. Quorum sensing, or cell-cell signaling, is associated closely with ecological interactions among bacteria in mixed communities. The potential role of quorum sensing in proteolytic food spoilage was examined, based on the evaluation of N-acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL) signal molecules. The occurrence of proteolytic activity and AHL signals was studied during spoilage of aerobically chill-stored ground beef, fish, chicken, and raw milk. Pseudomonads dominated the psychrotrophic flora, followed distantly by members of the Enterobacteriaceae. The growth of pseudomonads was correlated with the occurrence of proteolytic activity in all food systems. AHL concentration began increasing significantly only after the onset of proteolytic activity. Widely divergent AHL profiles were revealed by thin-layer chromatography analysis of the different food samples, and these profiles were likely determined by the undefined bacterial flora in these systems and by the characterized pseudomonads and Enterobacteriaceae. Although Hafnia alvei was a major component of the Enterobacteriaceae flora in all foods tested and a strong AHL producer, the signal molecules produced by H. alvei strain EB1 did not influence protease production by Pseudomonas fluorescens strain 395 in vitro. These results do not indicate any clear correlation between the overall detectable AHL signal molecules accumulated in the food samples and proteolytic activity.[1]


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