Responses of Lactic Acid Bacteria to Oxidative Stress

  • Bénédicte Cesselin
  • Aurélie Derré-Bobillot
  • Annabelle Fernandez
  • Gilles Lamberet
  • Delphine Lechardeur
  • Yuji Yamamoto
  • Martin Bastian Pedersen
  • Christel Garrigues
  • Alexandra Gruss
  • Philippe Gaudu
Part of the Food Microbiology and Food Safety book series (FMFS)


Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) include those designated as generally recognized as safe (LABGRAS), used in dairy industries, and opportunistic pathogens like most of the streptococceae. They are usually classified as strict fermentative bacteria producing mainly lactic acid as the end product of carbohydrate catabolism and they are oxygen-sensitive. Oxygen, in conjunction with the reducing environment, can generate highly toxic byproducts: superoxide (O2.−), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and hydroxyl radical (HO.). These species damage macromolecules like enzymes, leading to growth arrest or mortality in LAB. However, in the last decade, a basic functional oxygen-dependent respiratory chain has been identified in several LAB, suggesting that they might be better adapted to an oxygen environment than we thought previously. Interestingly, LAB are defective in their capacity to synthesize heme (and quinone in some LAB), both essential cofactors in respiratory chains. This chapter focuses on recent studies of oxygen toxicity, the respiratory metabolism in LAB, exemplified by Lactococcus lactis, and the signaling pathway associated with oxidative stress responses.


Lactic Acid Bacterium Cytochrome Oxidase Oxidative Stress Response Pyruvate Formate Lyase Methionine Sulfoxide 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank members of the UBLO laboratory for stimulating discussions on the dynamics between bacteria and their environment. As the subjects we cover concern a broad scientific area, we apologize for any oversights in failing to mention topics related to the present review. Work reported from our laboratory in this review benefited from funding by the French Research Ministry (the ANR “StrepRespire” project) and Chr. Hansen A/S (Denmark).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bénédicte Cesselin
    • 1
  • Aurélie Derré-Bobillot
    • 1
  • Annabelle Fernandez
    • 1
  • Gilles Lamberet
    • 1
  • Delphine Lechardeur
    • 1
  • Yuji Yamamoto
    • 2
  • Martin Bastian Pedersen
    • 3
  • Christel Garrigues
    • 4
  • Alexandra Gruss
    • 1
  • Philippe Gaudu
    • 1
  1. 1.Unité Bactéries Lactiques et Pathogènes Opportunistes, INRA UR888Jouy en JosasFrance
  2. 2.Laboratory of Cellular Microbiology, School of Veterinary MedicineKitasato UniversityTowadaJapan
  3. 3.Department of PhysiologyChr. Hansen A/SHϕrsholmDenmark
  4. 4.Department of PhysiologyChr. Hansen A/SHφrsholmDenmark

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