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Metabolic responses to Lactobacillus plantarum contamination or bacteriophage treatment in Saccharomyces cerevisiae using a GC–MS-based metabolomics approach


Bacteriophage can be used as a potential alternative agent for controlling Lactobacillus plantarum contamination during bioethanol production. However, how Saccharomyces cerevisiae respond against contaminative L. plantarum or added bacteriophage remains to be fully understood. In this study, gas chromatography–mass spectrometry and a multivariate analysis were employed to investigate the intracellular biochemical changes in S. cerevisiae cells that were elicited by L. plantarum contamination or bacteriophage treatment. The intracellular metabolite profiles originating from different groups were unique and could be distinguished with the aid of principal component analysis. Moreover, partial least-squares-discriminant analysis revealed a group classification and pairwise discrimination, and 13 differential metabolites with variable importance in the projection value greater than 1 were identified. The metabolic relevance of these compounds in the response of S. cerevisiae to L. plantarum contamination or bacteriophage treatment was discussed. Besides generating lactic acid and competing for nutrients or living space, L. plantarum contamination might also inhibit the growth of S. cerevisiae through regulating the glycolysis in S. cerevisiae. Moreover, increased concentrations of monounsaturated fatty acids secondary to bacteriophage treatment might lead to more membrane fluidity and promote the cell viability of S. cerevisiae.

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Analysis of variance


Embden–Meyerhof–Parnas pathway


Fatty acids


Free fatty acids


Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry


Lactic acid bacteria


N-methyl-N-(trimethylsilyl) trifluoroacetamide


Monounsaturated fatty acids


Principal components analysis


Partial least-squares-discriminant analysis


Polyunsaturated fatty acids


Retention time-mass to charge ratio


Total ion current


Unsaturated fatty acid


Variable importance in the projection


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This work was supported by National Nature Science Foundation of China (31201413) and the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDB14010301).

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Correspondence to Hao Li.

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The authors declared that they have no conflict of interest.

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No human participants and/or animals were involved in this research.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Feng-Xia Cui and Rui-Min Zhang have contributed equally to this paper.

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Cui, F., Zhang, R., Liu, H. et al. Metabolic responses to Lactobacillus plantarum contamination or bacteriophage treatment in Saccharomyces cerevisiae using a GC–MS-based metabolomics approach. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 31, 2003–2013 (2015).

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  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Bioethanol
  • Bacteriophage
  • Lactobacillus plantarum contamination
  • Metabolomics