Red-Brown Pigmentation of Acidipropionibacterium jensenii is Tied to Haemolytic Activity and cyl-Like Gene Cluster

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Deptula, Paulina
  • Iida Loivamaa
  • Olli Pekka Smolander
  • Pia Laine
  • Richard J. Roberts
  • Vieno Piironen
  • Lars Paulin
  • Kirsi Savijoki
  • Petri Auvinen
  • Pekka Varmanen

The novel Acidipropionibacterium genus encompasses species of industrial importance but also those associated with food spoilage. In particular, Acidipropionibacterium acidipropionici, Acidipropionibacterium thoenii, and Acidipropionibacterium jensenii play an important role in food fermentation, as biopreservatives, or as potential probiotics. Notably, A. jensenii and A. thoenii can cause brown spot defects in Swiss-type cheeses, which have been tied to the rhamnolipid pigment granadaene. In the pathogenic bacterium Streptococcus agalactiae, production of granadaene depends on the presence of a cyl gene cluster, an important virulence factor linked with haemolytic activity. Here, we show that the production of granadaene in pigmented Acidipropionibacterium, including A. jensenii, A. thoenii, and Acidipropionibacterium virtanenii, is tied to haemolytic activity and the presence of a cyl-like gene cluster. Furthermore, we propose a PCR-based test, which allows pinpointing acidipropionibacteria with the cyl-like gene cluster. Finally, we present the first two whole genome sequence analyses of the A. jensenii strains as well as testing phenotypic characteristics important for industrial applications. In conclusion, the present study sheds light on potential risks associated with the presence of pigmented Acidipropionibacterium strains in food fermentation. In addition, the results presented here provide ground for development of a quick and simple diagnostic test instrumental in avoiding potential negative effects of Acidipropionibacterium strains with haemolytic activity on food quality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number512
Issue number11
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Acidipropionibacterium thoenii, Acidipropionibacterium virtanenii, Genome, Granadaene, Haemolysis, Pigmentation

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