Indexed on: 16 Jun '12Published on: 16 Jun '12Published in: Annals of Microbiology
The effects of stress shocks on the freeze-drying viability, malolactic activity and membrane fatty acid composition of the Oenococcus oeni SD-2a cells were studied. O. oeni SD-2a cells after 2 h of stress exposure exhibited better freeze-drying viability and malolactic fermentation ability. A decrease in unsaturated fatty acids/saturated fatty acids (UFA/SFA) ratio and in the C18:1 relative concentration, and an increase in cyclopropane fatty acids (CFA) content mainly due to the increase in C19cyc11 relative concentration were observed in all stress shocked cells. There was a significant negative correlation between C19cyc11 and C18:lcis11, C16:0 in all stress shocks. The freeze-drying viability exhibited a significant positive correlation with the levels of C19cyc11 in cold and acid shocks. The only significant positive correlation between the ability of O. oeni SD-2a to conduct malic acid degradation and membrane composition existed with C14:0 in ethanol shocks. In general, freeze-drying viabilities were maximum for cells with low UFA/SFA ratio and high CFA levels, and, consequently, with low membrane fluidity. Moreover, CFA formation played a major role in protecting stress shocked cells from lyophilization. However, changes observed in membrane fatty acid composition are not enough to explain the greater freeze-drying viability of cells shocked at 8% ethanol. Thus, other mechanisms could be responsible for this increase in the bacterial resistance to lyophilization.