- On the origin of heterogeneity in (preservation) resistance of Bacillus spores: Input for a ‘systems’ analysis approach of bacterial spore outgrowth
- International Journal of Food Microbiology
- Volume | Issue number
- 134 | 1-2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS)
Bacterial spores are the ultimate (stress) ‘survival capsules’. They allow strains from the Bacillus and Clostridium species to survive harsh environmental conditions. In addition to the decision to enter sporulation the decision to do the reverse (germinate) is also a decisive event after which there is no return. Generally it is observed that the behaviour of spores towards the environment is not homogeneous. In fact in many cases it is even quite heterogeneous, certainly upon subjecting the spores to a thermal stress treatment. Genome information coupled to high resolution single-cell analysis techniques allow us currently to analyse signalling events of individual cells. In the area of food preservation the next challenge is to couple the newly acquired mechanistic data to the physiologically observed heterogeneity in spore behaviour.
The current paper will introduce the background of physiological heterogeneity while discussing the molecular processes that likely contribute to the observed heterogeneity in outgrowth. The discussion is set in the framework of contemporary and future needs for single-cell data integration in order to enhance the mechanistic basis of food preservation and spoilage models targeting bacterial spores.
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