Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Spores for thought

13.05.2015

Researchers at the Institute of Food Research have established how clostridia bacteria emerge from spores. This could help them understand how these bacteria germinate and go on to produce the deadly toxin responsible for botulism, a lethal form of food poisoning, or cause food spoilage.


This is a false-colored electron microscopy image of a Clostridium sporogenes spore germinating.

Credit: Kathryn Cross, Institute of Food Research

Clostridium botulinum bacteria produce the deadliest toxin known. Even tiny amounts of this toxin in food lead to botulism, which is fatal in 10% of cases. Clostridia bacteria survive in the environment as resilient, heat-resistant spores, so stringent safety measures are put in place in food processing. These ensure that botulism outbreaks are very rare, but to maintain food safety we need to understand as much as possible about how these bacteria survive and grow.

Scientists at the Institute of Food Research, which is strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, have world-leading expertise in these bacteria, and have recently uncovered the genetic controls of spore germination in these bacteria. Now, in new research published in the journal Food Microbiology, they have visualised the structural changes spores undergo during germination.

Dr Jason Brunt worked with microscopist Kathryn Cross to produce images of the stages spores go through during germination. They examined Clostridium sporogenes, a close relative of Clostridium botulinum that although less dangerous, can cause significant food spoilage problems.

Their images showed that the spores have an outer covering, called an exosporium, with an aperture at one end. Closer examination showed that this aperture aligned with a spot on the spore where it ruptures during germination, and that the newly formed cell emerges through these holes. This suggests that the spores have polarity that aligns the structures correctly.

"We think that this polarity is genetically pre-determined in the dormant spore," said Dr Jason Brunt. "Our long term aim is to formulate detailed strategies to interrupt these processes. This would be of great benefit to the food industry to help control these pathogenic and spoilage clostridia."

###

Reference: Apertures in the Clostridium sporogenes spore coat and exosporium align to facilitate emergence of the vegetative cell, Jason Brunt et al, Food Microbiology doi:10.1016/j.fm.2015.04.013

Media Contact

Andrew Chapple
andrew.chapple@ifr.ac.uk
44-160-325-1490

 @ifrscience

http://www.nbi.ac.uk/ 

Study provides new insights into Clostridium spores | EurekAlert!

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>