Phenotypic Variations and Molecular Identification of Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium Cells Under Starvation in Seawater
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In seawater, enteric bacteria evolve toward a stressed state that is difficult to identify because of major alterations of their phenotype. In this study, we incubated four reference strains of S. enterica serovar Typhimurium in seawater microcosms for 10 months and studied the modifications of their main phenotypic characters. All of the strains lost some key characters used for traditional identification of the Salmonella genus. They became able to produce acetoin, and tryptophane deaminase activity became positive, but they lost the capacity to use rhamnose. We were able to show some modifications of the level of enzymatic profile as well as in their antibiotic susceptibility. The atypical cells of S. enterica serovar Typhimurium were identified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods using the internal transcribed spacer region, and they were confirmed by multiplex PCR after the simultaneous amplification of the phoP, Hin, and H-li genes.
We are grateful to T. Deli for the corrections and valuable comments on the English version of the manuscript.
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