Improved adaptation to heat, cold, and solvent tolerance in Lactobacillus plantarum
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The effect of overproducing each of the three small heat shock proteins (Hsp; Hsp 18.5, Hsp 18.55, and Hsp 19.3) was investigated in Lactobacillus plantarum strain WCFS1. Overproduction of the three genes, hsp 18.5, hsp 18.55, and hsp 19.3, translationally fused to the start codon of the ldhL gene yielded a protein of approximately 19 kDa, as estimated from Tricine sodium dodecyl sulfate–polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in agreement with the predicted molecular weight of small Hsps. Small Hsp overproduction alleviated the reduction in growth rate triggered by exposing exponentially growing cells to heat shock (37 or 40°C) and cold shock (12°C). Moreover, overproduction of Hsp 18.55 and Hsp 19.3 led to an enhanced survival in the presence of butanol (1% v/v) or ethanol (12% v/v) treatment suggesting a potential role of L. plantarum small Hsps in solvent tolerance.