Development of Freeze-Thaw Tolerant Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG by Adaptive Laboratory Evolution.
Front Microbiol. 2018;9:2781
Authors: Kwon YW, Bae JH, Kim SA, Han NS
The industrial application of microorganisms as starters or probiotics requires their preservation to assure viability and metabolic activity. Freezing is routinely used for this purpose, but the cold
damage caused by ice crystal formation may result in severe decrease in microbial activity. In this study, adaptive laboratory evolution (ALE) technique was applied to a lactic acid bacterium to select tolerant strains against freezing and thawing stresses. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG was subjected to freeze-thaw-growth (FTG) for 150 cycles with four replicates. After 150 cycles, FTG-evolved mutants showed improved fitness (survival rates), faster growth rate, and shortened lag phase than those of the ancestor. Genome sequencing analysis of two evolved mutants showed genetic variants at distant loci in six genes and one intergenic space. Loss-of-function mutations were thought to alter the structure of the microbial cell membrane (one insertion in cls), peptidoglycan (two missense mutations in dacA and murQ), and capsular polysaccharides (one missense mutation in wze), resulting in an increase in cellular fluidity. Consequently, L. rhamnosus GG was successfully evolved into stress-tolerant mutants using FTG-ALE in a concerted mode at distal loci of DNA. This study reports for the first time the functioning of dacA and murQ in freeze-thaw sensitivity of cells and demonstrates that simple treatment of ALE designed appropriately can lead to an intelligent genetic changes at multiple target genes in the host microbial cell.
PMID: 30524399 [PubMed]