Impact of different sugars and glycosyltransferases on the assertiveness of Latilactobacillus sakei in raw sausage fermentations

A. W. Widenmann, C. J. Schiffer, M. A. Ehrmann, R. F. Vogel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Latilactobacillus sakei comprises a biodiversity of strains, which display different assertiveness upon their application as starter cultures in raw sausage fermentation. While the assertiveness of winning partner strains has been referred to competitive exclusion based on genomic settings enabling occupation of multiple niches of the sausage habitat, single strain assertiveness of L. sakei remained unexplained. In this study we assessed the impact of the expression of a glycosyltransferase enabling the production of a glucan from sucrose to the assertiveness of L. sakei TMW 1.411, which expresses a plasmid-encoded glycosyltransferase (gtf). In a sausage fermentation model wild type L. sakei TMW 1.411 and its plasmid-cured mutant were employed in competition with each other and with other Latilactobacillus sakei strains. To differentiate any effects resulting from general sugar utilization from those of glucan formation, the experiments were carried out with glucose, fructose, and sucrose, respectively. It was shown that the type of sugar affects the individual strains behaviour, and that the wild type was more competitive than the mutant in the presence of any of these sugars. In direct competition between wild type and mutant, a clear competitive advantage could also be demonstrated for the strain possessing the plasmid with the glycosyltransferase. Since this competitive advantage was observed with all sugars, not just sucrose, and Gtf expression has been shown as independent of the employed sugar, it is suggested that possession of the gtf gene-carrying plasmid confers a competitive advantage. It appears that the Gtf contributes to competitive exclusion and the establishment of colonization resistance, to a larger extent by an adhesive functionality of the Gtf on the cellular surface than by the production of glucan. Hence, gtf genes can be used as a possible additional marker for the selection of assertive L. sakei starter strains in sausage fermentation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109575
JournalInternational Journal of Food Microbiology
StatePublished - 2 Apr 2022


  • Assertiveness
  • Competitiveness
  • Glucan
  • Gylcosyltransferase
  • Latilactobacillus sakei
  • Sausage fermentation


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