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Evaluation of structural changes induced by high hydrostatic pressure in Leuconostoc mesenteroides

2004-02-01
Kaletunc, G
Lee, J
Alpas, Hami
Bozoglu, F
Scanning electron microcopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) were used to evaluate structural changes in Leuconostoc mesenteroides cells as a function of high-hydrostatic-pressure treatment. This bacterium usually grows in chains of cells, which were increasingly dechained at elevated pressures. High-pressure treatments at 250 and 500 MPa also caused changes in the external surface and internal structure of cells. Dechaining and blister formation on the surface of cells increased with pressure, as observed in SEM micrographs. TEM studies showed that cytoplasmic components of the cells were affected by high-pressure treatment. DSC studies of whole cells showed increasing denaturation of ribosomes with pressure, in keeping with dense compacted regions in the cytoplasm of pressure-treated cells observed in TEM micrographs. Apparent reduction of intact ribosomes observed in DSC thermograms was related to the reduction in number of viable cells. The results indicate that inactivation of L. mesenteroides cells is mainly due to ribosomal denaturation observed as a reduction of the corresponding peak in DSC thermograms and condensed interior regions of cytoplasm in TEM micrographs.