Interrelation between Tween and the membrane properties and high pressure tolerance of Lactobacillus plantarum

Dominik Reitermayer, Thomas A. Kafka, Christian A. Lenz, Rudi F. Vogel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Tween® 80 is a frequently used supplement of media for the cultivation of lactic acid bacteria. We investigated its effect on the cell physiology and stress tolerance of Lactobacillus (L.) plantarum. Data on the transcriptomic response to Tween 80 supplementation and its effects on cellular fatty acid profiles and growth characteristics are compared with data characterizing the effect of Tween 80, other Tween types and free fatty acids on the high hydrostatic pressure (HHP) tolerance of L. plantarum strain TMW 1.708. These include effects on cell viability, sub-lethal injury, metabolic activity, protein release and propidium iodide uptake. Tween 80 caused the downregulation of fatty acid biosynthesis and an increase in oleic acid and cyclopropane fatty acid levels in the cell membrane. Tween 20, Tween 80 and free oleic acid, but not Tween 40, Tween 60 and other free fatty acids, conferred resistance against HHP. Tween 80 diminished pressure-induced loss of metabolic activity, protein release and uptake of propidium iodide. However, loss of cell viability exceeded by far membrane permeabilization, suggesting that membrane permeabilization, which has frequently been postulated as a major factor in HHP inactivation of microbes, is not necessarily required for HHP-induced cell death of Lactobacillus plantarum.

Original languageEnglish
Article number72
JournalBMC Microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 13 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytoplasmic membrane
  • Emulsifier
  • Fatty acids
  • Food additive E 433
  • Food spoilage
  • HHP
  • High hydrostatic pressure inactivation
  • Lactobacilli
  • Lactobacillus plantarum
  • Oleic acid
  • Pasteurization
  • Polysorbate 80
  • Tween


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