Effects of static magnetic fields on growth and membrane lipid composition of Salmonella typhimurium wild-type and dam mutant strains.

Research paper by Mouadh M Mihoub, Alya A El May, Amine A Aloui, Abdelwaheb A Chatti, Ahmed A Landoulsi

Indexed on: 12 Jun '12Published on: 12 Jun '12Published in: International Journal of Food Microbiology


This study was carried out to explore the adaptive mechanisms of S. typhimurium particularly, the implication of the Dam methyltransferase in the remodelling of membrane lipid composition to overcome magnetic field stress. With this aim, we focused our analyses on the increase in viable numbers and membrane lipid modifications of S. typhimurium wild-type and dam mutant cells exposed for 10h to static magnetic fields (SMF; 200 mT). For the wild-type strain, exposure to SMF induced a significant decrease (p<0.05) of CFU at 6h, followed by an increase between 8 and 10h. Growth of the dam mutant was significantly affected (p<0.05) after 6h and no recovery was observed until 10h, highlighting a different behavior of SMF stressed wild-type and dam mutant strains. SMF significantly affected the phospholipid proportions in the two strains. The most affected were those of the acidic phospholipids, cardiolipins (CL). In the dam strain the phospholipid response to SMF followed a globally similar trend as in the wild-type with however lower effects, leading mainly to an unusual accumulation of CL. This would in part explain the different behavior of the wild-type and the dam strain. Results showed a significant increase of membrane cyclic fatty acids Cyc17 and Cyc19 in the wild-type strain but only the Cyc17 in the dam strain and a meaningful increase of the total unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs) to total saturated fatty acids (SFAs) ratios of the exposed cells compared to controls from 3 to 9h (p<0.05) for both strains. The net increase of the total UFAs to total SFAs ratios seemed to result mainly from the increase of (C18:1) proportion (p<0.05) and to a lower extent from that of (C16:1) (p<0.05). These modifications of cyclic and unsaturated fatty acid proportions constitute an adaptive response to SMF stress in S. typhimurium wild-type and dam mutants to maintain an optimum level of membrane fluidity under SMF.