Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis as a natural anti-listerial agent in the mushroom industry
Dygico, Lionel Kenneth
O'Connor, Paula M.
Gahan, Cormac G. M.
Burgess, Catherine M.
Mushroom growth substrates from different commercial producers of mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) were screened for the presence of bacteria with potential for use as biocontrol agents for controlling Listeria monocytogenes in the mushroom production environment. Eight anti-listerial strains were isolated from different sources and all were identified using 16s rRNA gene sequencing as Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis. Whole-genome sequencing of the Lc. lactis isolates indicated that strains from different sites and substrate types were highly similar. Colony MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry found that these strains were Nisin Z producers but inhibitory activity was highly influenced by the incubation conditions and was strain dependant. The biofilm forming ability of these strains was tested using a crystal violet assay and all were found to be strong biofilm formers. Growth of Lc. lactis subsp. lactis using mixed-biofilm conditions with L. monocytogenes on stainless steel resulted in a 4-log reduction of L. monocytogenes cell numbers. Additional sampling of mushroom producers showed that these anti-listerial Lc. lactis strains are commonly present in the mushroom production environment. Lc. lactis has a generally regarded as safe (GRAS) status and therefore has potential for use as an environmentally benign solution to control L. monocytogenes in order to prevent product contamination and to enhance consumer confidence in the mushroom industry.
Listeria monocytogenes , Lactococcus lactis , Mushroom industry , Competitive exclusion
Dygico, L. K., O'Connor, P. M., Hayes, M., Gahan, C. G. M., Grogan, H. and Burgess, C. M. (2019) 'Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis as a natural anti-listerial agent in the mushroom industry', Food Microbiology, 82, pp. 30-35. doi: 10.1016/j.fm.2019.01.015