A microplate growth inhibition assay for screening bacteriocins against listeria monocytogenes to differentiate their mode-of-action

Paul Priyesh Vijayakumar, Peter M. Muriana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have historically been used in food fermentations to preserve foods and are generally-recognized-as-safe (GRAS) by the FDA for use as food ingredients. In addition to lactic acid; some strains also produce bacteriocins that have been proposed for use as food preservatives. In this study we examined the inhibition of Listeria monocytogenes 39-2 by neutralized and non-neutralized bacteriocin preparations (Bac+ preps) produced by Lactobacillus curvatus FS47; Lb. curvatus Beef3; Pediococcus acidilactici Bac3; Lactococcus lactis FLS1; Enterococcus faecium FS56-1; and Enterococcus thailandicus FS92. Activity differences between non-neutralized and neutralized Bac+ preps in agar spot assays could not readily be attributed to acid because a bacteriocin-negative control strain was not inhibitory to Listeria in these assays. When neutralized and non-neutralized Bac+ preps were used in microplate growth inhibition assays against L. monocytogenes 39-2 we observed some differences attributed to acid inhibition. A microplate growth inhibition assay was used to compare inhibitory reactions of wild-type and bacteriocin-resistant variants of L. monocytogenes to differentiate bacteriocins with different modes-of-action (MOA) whereby curvaticins FS47 and Beef3, and pediocin Bac3 were categorized to be in MOA1; enterocins FS92 and FS56-1 in MOA2; and lacticin FLS1 in MOA3. The microplate bacteriocin MOA assay establishes a platform to evaluate the best combination of bacteriocin preparations for use in food applications as biopreservatives against L. monocytogenes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1178-1194
Number of pages17
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 11 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Bacteriocins
  • Biopreservatives
  • Inhibition
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Microplate assay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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