Int J Food Microbiol 2019 Jul 2;300:1-7. Epub 2019 Apr 2.
Postgraduate Program in Agroindustrial Science and Technology, Agroindustrial Technology and Science Department, Eliseu Maciel Faculty of Agronomy, Federal University of Pelotas (UFPel), 96010-900, P.O. Box 354, Pelotas, RS, Brazil. Electronic address:
The objective of this study was to compare the gene expression levels of the agr locus and prfA gene during adhesion and biofilm formation by four L. monocytogenes isolates (2 biofilm-forming and 2 non-forming) on stainless steel and polystyrene surfaces at different temperatures (10 °C, 20 °C and 37 °C), and times (8 h, 12 h, 24 h and 48 h). The agrA and prfA genes were expressed at higher levels than the agrBCD genes. The levels of agr locus expression were higher in the biofilm-forming strains, and the greatest difference between biofilm-forming and non-forming isolates was observed for the agrB, agrC and agrD genes. However, no difference in the expression of the prfA gene was seen among the isolates, independent of the biofilm-forming ability. Maximum expression of the agr locus and prfA gene was observed at 37 °C, whereas expression was lowest at 10 °C. The agr locus, and particularly the agrB, agrC and agrD genes, is important in the initial adhesion phase of biofilm production by L. monocytogenes, with this expression independent of prfA. In addition, the agr locus and prfA gene expression levels were strongly influenced by time and temperature.