A single point mutation in the listerial betL σA-dependent promoter leads to improved osmo- and chill-tolerance and a morphological shift at elevated osmolarity
Volume 4, Issue 6
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, chill-tolerance, osmotolerance, salt stress, twisted cells
Authors: Roland F. Hoffmann, Susan McLernon, Audrey Feeney, Colin Hill and Roy D. Sleator View affiliations
Betaine uptake in Listeria monocytogenes is mediated by three independent transport systems, the simplest of which in genetic terms is the secondary transporter BetL. Using a random mutagenesis approach, based on the E. coli XL1 Red mutator strain, we identified a single point mutation in a putative promoter region upstream of the BetL coding region which leads to a significant increase in betL transcript levels under osmo- and chill-stress conditions and a concomitant increase in stress tolerance. Furthermore, the mutation appears to counter the heretofore unreported “twisted” cell morphology observed for L. monocytogenes grown at elevated osmolarities in tryptone soy broth.
Received: January 11, 2013; Accepted: February 24, 2013; Published Online: March 11, 2013