Stress Responses of Lactobacilli

  • Maria De Angelis
  • Marco GobbettiEmail author
Part of the Food Microbiology and Food Safety book series (FMFS)


Environmental stress responses in Lactobacillus are reviewed in this chapter. Comparative genome analysis of the Lactobacillus species indicated that the combination of gene gain and gene loss occurred during environmental adaptation. However, the ability of the Lactobacillus species to adapt to different environments is variable. The physiological and molecular mechanisms of responses to heat, cold, acid, osmotic, oxidative, high pressure, starvation, and quorum-sensing (QS) stresses are described. The mechanisms of stress resistance in lactobacilli are based upon the induction of a specific set of proteins found after exposure to sublethal specific stress (specific response) or after exposure to other types of environmental stress (generic response). Other mechanisms of stress responses are involved, such as (1) the proportion of shorter and/or unsaturated fatty acids in membrane lipids, (2) the intracellular level of compatible solutes, (3) the F0F1-ATPase proton pumps, (4) the amino acid decarboxylation/catabolism, and (5) the small signaling hormone-like molecules. Molecular mechanisms of stress responses in lactobacilli and other bacteria are compared. Specific examples of the repercussions of these effects in food processing are given.


Quorum Sense Glycine Betaine Acid Stress Quaternary Ammonium Compound Lactobacillus Species 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biologia e Chimica Agro-Forestale ed AmbientaleUniversity of BariBariItaly

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