Roles of a Novel Crp/Fnr Family Transcription Factor Lmo0753 in Soil Survival, Biofilm Production and Surface Attachment to Fresh Produce of Listeria monocytogenes
Salazar, Joelle K.
Freitag, Nancy E.
Tortorello, Mary Lou
PublisherPublic Library of Science
MetadataShow full item record
Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne bacterial pathogen and the causative agent of an infectious disease, listeriosis. L. monocytogenes is ubiquitous in nature and has the ability to persist in food processing environments for extended periods of time by forming biofilms and resisting industrial sanitization. Human listeriosis outbreaks are commonly linked to contaminated dairy products, ready-to-eat meats, and in recent years, fresh produce such as lettuce and cantaloupes. We identified a putative Crp/Fnr family transcription factor Lmo0753 that is highly specific to human-associated genetic lineages of L. monocytogenes. Lmo0753 possesses two conserved functional domains similar to the major virulence regulator PrfA in L. monocytogenes. To determine if Lmo0753 is involved in environmental persistence-related mechanisms, we compared lmo0753 deletion mutants with respective wild type and complementation mutants of two fully sequenced L. monocytogenes genetic lineage II strains 10403S and EGDe for the relative ability of growth under different nutrient availability and temperatures, soil survival, biofilm productivity and attachment to select fresh produce surfaces including romaine lettuce leaves and cantaloupe rinds. Our results collectively suggested that Lmo0753 plays an important role in L. monocytogenes biofilm production and attachment to fresh produce, which may contribute to the environmental persistence and recent emergence of this pathogen in human listeriosis outbreaks linked to fresh produce.