Effects of pressure on cell morphology and cell division of lactic acid bacteria

Adriana Molina-Höppner, Takako Sato, Chiaki Kato, Michael G. Gänzle, Rudi F. Vogel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The effect of pressure and temperature on the growth of the mesophilic lactic acid bacteria Lactococcus lactis and Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis was studied. Both strains were piezosensitive. Lb. sanfranciscensis failed to grow at 50 MPa and the growth rate of Lc. lactis at 50 MPa was less than 30% of that at atmospheric pressure. An increase of growth temperature did not improve the piezotolerance of either organism. During growth under high-pressure conditions, the cell morphology was changed, and the cells were elongated as cell division was inhibited. At atmospheric pressure, temperatures above the optimal temperature for growth caused a similar effect on cell morphology and cell division in both bacteria as that observed under high-pressure conditions. The segregation and condensation of chromosomal DNA were observed by DAPI staining and occurred normally at high-pressure conditions independent of changes in cell morphology. Immunofluorescence microscopy of Lc. lactis cells demonstrated an inhibitory effect of high pressure on the formation of the FtsZ ring and this inhibition of the FtsZ ring formation is suggested to contribute to the altered cell morphology and growth inhibition induced by high pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-516
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2003


  • Cell morphology
  • FtsZ
  • High pressure
  • Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis
  • Lactococcus lactis


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