The effect of abrupt osmotic shifts on the lag phase duration of physiologically distinct populations of
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Mellefont, LA and McMeekin, TA and Ross, T, The effect of abrupt osmotic shifts on the lag phase duration of physiologically distinct populations of
Salmonella typhimurium, International Journal of Food Microbiology, 92, (2) pp. 111-120. ISSN 0168-1605 (2004) [Refereed Article]
Relative lag time (RLT), i.e. lag time divided by generation time, was used to characterise the lag phase response of exponential and stationary phase Salmonella typhimurium subjected to NaCl-mediated hyperosmotic shifts. Abrupt hyperosmotic shifts induced lag phases. The RLT, however, varied with the physiological history of the inoculum and the magnitude of the shift. Turbidimetric data showed that exponential phase cells had larger RLTs (up to ∼8 units) than stationary phase cells (up to 2-4 units). Inocula containing exponential and stationary phase cells mixed in known proportions gave intermediate results. For viable count data, there was little difference in RLT between exponential and stationary phase cells. The RLT response determined turbidimetrically was reproducible for exponential phase cells, but less so for stationary phase cells. It is suggested that there may be a lower limit for resolution of RLT, in the range 0-2 units, and that this may account for the lack of reproducibility in RLTs of stationary phase cells. It is hypothesised that stationary phase cells have enhanced resistance to osmotic stress and are able to exploit new growth environments at low aw more rapidly than exponential phase cells, resulting in shorter lag phases. However, the data indicate that turbidimetry may not accurately describe the lag phase response of exponential phase cells subjected to large osmotic shifts. Viable count data is required to investigate this hypothesis further. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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