The SpmA/B and DacF proteins of Clostridium perfringens play important roles in spore heat resistance: Research Letter

Benjamin Orsburn, Katie Sucre, David L. Popham, Stephen B. Melville

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Strains of Clostridium perfringens that cause acute food poisoning have been shown to produce spores that are significantly more heat resistant than those of other strains. Previous studies demonstrated that the spore core density and the ratio of spore cortex peptidoglycan relative to the germ cell wall were factors that correlated with the heat resistance of a C. perfringens spore. To further evaluate these relationships, mutant strains of C. perfringens SM101 were constructed with null mutations in dacF, encoding a d,d-carboxypeptidase, and in the spmA-spmB operon, which is involved in spore core dehydration. The dacF mutant was shown to produce less spore cortex peptidoglycan and had a corresponding decrease in spore heat resistance. The spmA-spmB strain produced highly unstable spores with significantly lower core densities and increased heat sensitivity, which were easily destroyed during treatments affecting the spore coat layers. These results support the previous assertion that a threshold core density as well as a high ratio of cortex peptidoglycan relative to the germ cell wall contribute to the formation of a more heat-resistant spore in this species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-194
Number of pages7
JournalFEMS microbiology letters
Volume291
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Clostridium perfringens
  • Heat resistance
  • Peptidoglycan
  • Spores

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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