Nisin induces changes in membrane fatty acid composition of Listeria monocytogenes nisin-resistant strains at 10 degrees C and 30 degrees C

J Appl Microbiol. 1997 Jan;82(1):32-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.1997.tb03294.x.


Listeria monocytogenes isolates resistant to 10(5) IU ml-1 nisin were obtained at 30 degrees C (NR30) and at 10 degrees C (NR10). Nisin prolonged the lag phase of isolate NR30 at 10 degrees C. Isolates NR30 and NR10 did not produce a nisinase. Protoplasts of isolate NR30 were unaffected by exposure to nisin. The fatty acid composition from the wild-type strain and NR isolates was determined. As expected, temperature-induced differences in the C15/C17 fatty acid ratios were found. Growth of the NR strains in the presence of nisin resulted in significantly different C15/C17 ratios and a significant increase in the percentage of C16:0, C16: 1, C18:0 and C18: 1 fatty acids at 10 degrees C and 30 degrees C. Both the NR10 and NR30 isolates had similar growth rates at low temperatures, but these were slower than the wild-type strain. These results indicate that 'nisin resistance' is an environmentally defined phenotype and that nisin induces changes in the fatty acid composition of the membrane in L. monocytogenes nisin-resistant isolates regardless of the growth temperature.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Agar
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Membrane / chemistry
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism*
  • Listeria monocytogenes / drug effects*
  • Listeria monocytogenes / growth & development
  • Listeria monocytogenes / metabolism
  • Membrane Fluidity / drug effects
  • Nisin / pharmacology*
  • Temperature


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Fatty Acids
  • Nisin
  • Agar