Recently a microbial growth model, the new logistic model, which could precisely describe and predict microbial growth at various patterns of temperature, was developed by the author (Biocontrol Science, 15, 75-80, 2010). The author shows several software programs developed with the model in this review. First, a program that analyzes microbial growth data and generates growth curves fitted to the model was developed. Second, a growth prediction program for Escherichia coli, Staphylococcal aureus, and Vibrio paraheamoliticus exposed at various patterns of temperature was made based on experimental data. For V. paraheamoliticus a program for bacterial growth under environmental conditions including temperature, salt concentration, and pH was developed. These programs are available free at the Japan Food Industry Center. Furthermore, a method to estimate the temperature at various points on or inside a food exposed to a given temperature was developed by using the measured temperatures of two points on the surface of the food and the heat conduction law. Combining this method with the growth model, a system that predicts microbial growth in a food exposed to various temperature patterns was made. This system could be a prototype of an alert system for microbial food safety.
The genus Arthrospira is a nonheterocystous filamentous cyanobacterium inhabiting diverse environments including those of high salinity. In the present study, Arthrospira strains were isolated from freshwater and brackish lakes in Myanmar, and their osmoprotective adaptation was investigated as it was for the genus Synechococcus strains. The Arthrospira strains showed satisfactory growth up to 1.0 M sodium chloride, suggesting their acclimation to high salinity stress. Cloning and phylogenetic analysis of ggpS, which encodes an osmolyte glucosylglycerol-phosphate synthase (GgpS), showed that the cyanobacterial strains possess a GgpS-based osmoprotective mechanism, except for Synechococcus strains of freshwater origin. The Arthrospira spp. strains fell into the same cluster in the GgpS phylogeny, suggesting their close taxonomic relationship. One exception was Arthrospira sp. TT-1 (II); the ggpS (II), possibly a paralogue of the ggpS (I), branched out from the cyanobacterial cluster. These findings suggest the wide distribution of the genus Arthrospira in freshwater to brackish environments is ascribed to its glucosylglycerol production as an osmoprotectant and resulting in salt acclimation.
We investigated the antimicrobial activities of twelve derivatives of benzyl phenyl sulfide by using Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) and Minimum Bactericidal Concentration (MBC) values against 10 microbial strains. These derivatives of benzyl phenyl sulfides were synthesized by means of the nucleophilic coupling reaction at our laboratory. MIC testing revealed that all synthetic derivatives of benzyl and 4-methoxybenzyl phenyl sulfides had no effect against the tested microbial strains. However, the compounds of 4-nitrobenzyl phenyl sulfide showed antimicrobial activity against many of the tested strains. Above all, 4-nitrobenzyl 4-chlorophenyl sulfide 11 exhibited the strongest and widest ranging inhibitory effects among the twelve synthetic compounds. We researched the antimicrobial activities of the coupling materials of sulfide. As a result, it was considered important for the expression of antimicrobial activities that the sulfide had a 4-nitrobenzyl group and 4-chlorophenyl group in the same molecule as in the case of benzyl phenyl sulfide.
We genetically analyzed the roles of multidrug efflux pumps on the biofilm formation of Escherichia coli K-12 BW25113. We used 22 mutants missing various genes related to the multidrug efflux pumps and found that the biofilm formation of emrD, emrE, emrK, acrD, acre and mdtE-deleted mutants was extremely decreased. These results indicate that some multidrug efflux pumps significantly contribute to the biofilm formation of E. coli.
We evaluated the effectiveness of using Compact DryR X-BC (CD-XBC), a ready-to-use and self-diffusing dry medium sheet culture system based on a novel detection principle, for the detection and enumeration of Bacillus cereus. All 13 B. cereus strains, which were studied for the inclusivity study, grew as blue/green colonies on the CD-XBC. When 3 yeast strains and 103 bacterial strains other than B. cereus were tested for the exclusivity study, 5 strains formed white colonies, and 4 strains formed blue/green colonies, while 94 other strains failed to grow. The 4 strains that formed blue/green colonies were B. thuringiensis, which is known to have the same biochemical features as B. cereus. The CD-XBC method was compared with the MYP agar method (MYP) and the NGKG agar method (NGKG) in 130 artificially contaminated food samples. The correlation coefficients between CD-XBC and MYP, and CD-XBC and NGKG were 0.972 and 0.971, respectively.
The decontamination effect of milling by a jet mill was investigated by counting the number of bacteria in brown and white rice flour with mean particle diameters of 3, 20, and 40μm prepared by the jet mill. In the jet mill, the particles are crushed and reduced in size by the mechanical impact caused by their collision. Although the brown and white rice grains were contaminated with approximately 106 and 105 CFU/g bacteria, the microbial load of the rice flour decreased as the mean particle diameter decreased, ultimately decreasing to approximately 104 and 103 CFU/g in the brown and white rice flour. The temperature and pressure changes of the sample were not considered to have an effect on reducing the bacterial count during the milling. Hence, it was thought that the rice flour was decontaminated by other effects.