Employing lytic phage-mediated horizontal gene transfer in Lactococcus lactis

Barbara Marcelli, Harma Karsens, Mark Nijland, Ruben Oudshoorn, Oscar P. Kuipers, Jan Kok*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Lactococcus lactis is a lactic acid bacterium widely used as a starter culture in the manufacture of dairy products, especially a wide variety of cheeses. Improved industrial strains would help to manufacture better food products that can meet the industry's and consumer's demands with respect to e.g. quality, taste, texture and shelf life. Bacteriophage infection of L. lactis starter cultures represents one of the main causes of fermentation failure and consequent economic losses for the dairy industry. In this study, however, we aim at employing bacteriophages for beneficial purposes. We developed an experimental setup to assess whether phage-mediated horizontal gene transfer could be used to enhance the genetic characteristics of L. lactis strains in accordance with the European law regarding the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the food industry. Although we could not show the transfer of chromosomal DNA we did successfully transduce two dissimilar plasmids from L. lactis strain MG1363 to one of its derivatives employing three different lactococcal bacteriophages.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0238988
Number of pages20
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume15
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14-Sep-2020

Keywords

  • LACTOSE METABOLISM
  • FLAVOR FORMATION
  • MULTIPLEX PCR
  • ACID BACTERIA
  • TRANSDUCTION
  • PLASMID
  • DNA
  • IDENTIFICATION
  • INDUSTRIAL
  • PROPHAGES

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