Subcellular membrane fluidity of Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus under cold and osmotic stress


Cryopreservation of lactic acid bacteria may lead to undesirable cell death and functionality losses. The membrane is the first target for cell injury and plays a key role in bacterial cryotolerance. This work aimed at investigating at a subcellular resolution the membrane fluidity of two populations of Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus when subjected to cold and osmotic stresses associated to freezing. Cells were cultivated at 42 °C in mild whey medium, and they were exposed to sucrose solutions of different osmolarities (300 and 1800 mOsm L−1) after harvest. Synchrotron fluorescence microscopy was used to measure membrane fluidity of cells labeled with the cytoplasmic membrane probe 1-[4 (trimethylamino) phenyl]-6-phenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene (TMA-DPH). Images were acquired at 25 and 0 °C, and more than a thousand cells were individually analyzed. Results revealed that a bacterial population characterized by high membrane fluidity and a homogeneous distribution of fluidity values appeared to be positively related to freeze-thaw resistance. Furthermore, rigid domains with different anisotropy values were observed and the occurrence of these domains was more important in the freeze-sensitive bacterial population. The freeze-sensitive cells exhibited a broadening of existing highly rigid lipid domains with osmotic stress. The enlargement of domains might be ascribed to the interaction of sucrose with membrane phospholipids, leading to membrane disorganization and cell degradation.

DOI: 10.1007/s00253-017-8444-9

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@article{Meneghel2017SubcellularMF, title={Subcellular membrane fluidity of Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus under cold and osmotic stress}, author={Julie Meneghel and St{\'e}phanie Passot and St{\'e}phanie Cenard and Matthieu R{\'e}fr{\'e}giers and Fr{\'e}d{\'e}ric Jamme and F. Fonseca}, journal={Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology}, year={2017}, volume={101}, pages={6907-6917} }