eCite Digital Repository

The effect of abrupt osmotic shifts on the lag phase duration of foodborne bacteria


Mellefont, LA and McMeekin, TA and Ross, T, The effect of abrupt osmotic shifts on the lag phase duration of foodborne bacteria, International Journal of Food Microbiology, 83, (3) pp. 281-293. ISSN 0168-1605 (2003) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1016/S0168-1605(02)00377-X


The effects of osmotic environment and inoculum history on lag times were examined. Abrupt osmotic shifts of cultures were found to induce lag phases in a variety of foodborne bacteria. Relative lag times (RLT; the ratio of lag time to generation time) were used to differentiate the effects of the shift from those of the outgrowth environment. In general, osmotic downshifts induced larger RLTs than equivalent upshifts. An observed reduction in RLT at very low aw, however, was unexpected. For an osmotic downshift, differences were observed in the RLT response of the Gram-negative and -positive strains tested. RLTs were usually extended for Gram-negative organisms as conditions became less favourable for growth. In comparison, RLT remained relatively unaffected for Gram-positive organisms. The observations reported in this study demonstrate that lag time can be understood in terms of the amount of work to be done to adjust to new environmental conditions and the rate at which that work is done, and are consistent with known strategies for osmoregulation employed by the various organisms studied. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Microbiology
Research Field:Microbiology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Food safety
UTAS Author:Mellefont, LA (Dr Lyndal Mellefont)
UTAS Author:McMeekin, TA (Professor Thomas McMeekin)
UTAS Author:Ross, T (Professor Tom Ross)
ID Code:26370
Year Published:2003
Web of Science® Times Cited:52
Deposited By:Agricultural Science
Deposited On:2003-08-01
Last Modified:2004-06-16

Repository Staff Only: item control page