Cell wall changes in nisin-resistant variants of Listeria innocua grown in the presence of high nisin concentrations

FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1996 Jun 15;140(1):29-35. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.1996.tb08310.x.


Two nisin-resistant variants of a strain of Listeria innocua were isolated after growth in the presence of 500 and 4000 IU ml-1 of nisin A showed increased cell wall hydrophobicity, resistance to phage attack and three different cell wall-acting antibiotics, as well as to the peptidoglycan hydrolytic enzymes lysozyme and mutanolysin, as compared to the parental strain. Transmission electron microscopy revealed marked thickening of the wall of nisin-resistant cells with an irregular surface. Differences in thickness were lost after cell wall purification and no significant difference in gross wall composition was observed between the parental and resistant variants. Cell wall changes in nisin-resistant listeriae are attributed to abnormal cell wall synthesis and autolysin inhibition, the latter possibly associated with subtle changes in cell wall structures and function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacteriophages / physiology
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Membrane / drug effects*
  • Cell Membrane / enzymology
  • Cell Membrane / ultrastructure
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial / genetics*
  • Genetic Variation
  • Listeria / cytology*
  • Listeria / genetics
  • Listeria / growth & development
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Muramidase / pharmacology
  • Nisin / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Nisin
  • Muramidase