1887

Abstract

is a pathogen whose distribution in a range of foodstuffs requires the development of methods for sensitive and rapid detection. Molecular biological methods usually rely on specific detection of rDNA directly amplified by the application of PCR to DNA extracts. Information on the metabolic status of populations would be valuable and can, in theory, be provided by quantitative detection of rRNA itself. Both fluorometry and oligonucleotide probe assays were applied to cultures to quantify RNA and DNA and produced more meaningful data than previous estimates for bacteria based on eukaryotic nucleic acid standards. In batch culture, the RNA–DNA ratio was found to be greatest at the end of exponential growth, after which RNA became degraded in accordance with the rapid decrease in viability. When the pH of the medium was controlled at neutrality, culture viability was dramatically extended and although RNA was degraded, intact DNA was maintained for the duration of the experiment. Ribosome numbers per cell were estimated to decrease from about 25000 observed during mid-exponential growth to about 600 during stationary phase, under pH-controlled conditions. Like , therefore, loses viability and rRNA rapidly once exponential growth has ceased in batch culture. However, much improved survival of a culturable population when pH is controlled has clear implications for the persistence of this species in buffered environments such as dairy products.

Keyword(s): fluorometry , RNA–DNA ratio and rRNA
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2001-10-01
2019-12-16
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