Effect of thyme essential oil against Bacillus cereus planktonic growth and biofilm formation
The objective of this study was to determine the effect of thyme essential oil (TEO) on the planktonic growth and biofilm formation of Bacillus cereus (B. cereus). GC-MS analysis of TEO allowed the detection of 13 compounds, and the major constituents were p-cymene (29.7%), thymol (23.73%), γ-terpinene (16.21%), and 1,8-cineole (9.74%). TEO exhibited a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) value against planktonic B. cereus of 0.25 mg/mL. The potent effect of TEO to inhibit the growth of planktonic B. cereus was due to cell membrane damage, as evidenced by reduced cell viability, protein changes, decreased intracellular ATP concentration, increased extracellular ATP concentration and cell membrane depolarization, and cellular morphological changes. In addition, TEO exerted a significant inhibitory effect on B. cereus biofilm formation, as confirmed by environmental scanning electron microscopic images. These findings suggested that TEO has the potential to be developed as a natural food additive to control foodborne contamination associated with B. cereus and its biofilm.
KeywordsThyme essential oil Bacillus cereus Cell membrane Biofilm formation
This research was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundations of China (Grant No. 31301472).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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