Understanding the acid tolerance response of bifidobacteria.

Waddington, L., Cyr, T., Hefford, M., Hansen, L.T., and Kalmokoff, M.L. (2010). "Understanding the acid tolerance response of bifidobacteria.", Journal of Applied Microbiology, 108(4), pp. 1408-1420. doi : 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2009.04540.x  Access to full text

Abstract

Aims: To investigate the effect of pH on the viability and the acid tolerance response (ATR) of bifidobacteria. Methods and Results: The impact of low pH on the viability of five species of bifidobacteria was examined under conditions of strict anaerobiosis. Although differences in the ability to resist the lethal effects of low pH were apparent among the species, cell viability could be improved by the provision of fermentable substrate during an acidic pH stress or through the use of stationary phase cells. While a stationary phase ATR was found to occur in two species of bifidobacteria, there was no adaptive response in exponential phase cells. Proteomic analysis of exponential phase Bifidobacterium longum subjected to a mild acid pre-exposure (pH 4.5, 2 h) prior to an acid challenge revealed a substantial loss in the total number of cellular proteins. In contrast, proteomic analysis of stationary phase cells revealed an increased abundance of proteins associated with the general stress response as well as the β-subunit of the F0F1-ATPase, known to be important in bifidobacteria acid tolerance.