Susan K. Mills

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Lactococci are one of the most exploited microorganisms used in the manufacture of food. These intensively used cultures are generally characterized by having a rich plasmid complement. It could be argued that it is the plasmid complement of commercially utilized cultures that gives them their technical superiority and individuality. Consequently, it is(More)
The human intestinal microbiota is one of the most densely populated ecosystems on Earth, containing up to 10 ( 13) bacteria/g and in some respects can be considered an organ itself given its role in human health. Bacteriophages (phages) are the most abundant replicating entities on the planet and thrive wherever their bacterial hosts exist. They(More)
Before a probiotic bacterium can even begin to fulfill its biological role, it must survive a battery of environmental stresses imposed during food processing and passage through the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Food processing stresses include extremes in temperature, as well as osmotic, oxidative and food matrix stresses. Passage through the GIT is a(More)
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AIMS An efficient approach for generation of bacteriophage-insensitive mutants (BIMs) of Streptococcus thermophilus starters was described in our laboratory [Mills et al. (2007) J Microbiol Methods70, 159-164]. The aim of this study was to analyse the phage resistance mechanism responsible for BIM formation. METHODS AND RESULTS Three clustered regularly(More)
In this study, we assessed the ability of six strains of bifidobacteria (previously shown by us to possess the ability to convert linoleic acid to c9, t11-conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) to grow in the presence of α-linolenic acid and to generate conjugated isomers of the fatty acid substrate during fermentation for 42 h. The six strains of bifidobacteria(More)
AIMS Use of lacticin 481 to facilitate the conjugal transfer of the bacteriophage resistance plasmid pCBG104 to various starter cultures. METHODS AND RESULTS A raw milk isolate of Lactococcus was found to harbour determinants for lacticin 481 production and immunity and phage resistance on a plasmid designated pCBG104. The lacticin 481 was successfully(More)
AIMS To facilitate the horizontal transfer and selection of phage-resistance plasmids in industrial lactococci. METHODS AND RESULTS Cadmium-resistance properties similar to those previously identified in Lactococcus were linked to the well-known phage-resistance plasmid pNP40. This finding was exploited to facilitate delivery of the plasmid to an(More)
There is an increased desire for sophisticated foods, whereby consumers harbor higher expectations of health-promoting benefits above basic nutrition. Moreover, there is a move from the adulteration of foods with chemical preservatives toward biopreservation. Such expectations have led scientists to identify novel approaches to satisfy both demands, which(More)
Bacteriocin production may be a factor contributing to bacterial dominance within complex microbial populations and may therefore be a common trait within the gut microbiota. However, of 278 antimicrobial-producing culturable lactic acid bacteria (LAB) isolated from a range of mammalian intestinal sources in this study, characterization revealed just 23(More)