Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis A164 was isolated from Kimchi (Korean traditional fermented vegetables). The bacteriocin produced by strain A164 was active against closely related lactic acid bacteria and some food-borne pathogens including Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella typhimurium. The antimicrobial spectrum was nearly identical to that of nisin. Bacteriocin activity was not destroyed by exposure to elevated temperatures at low pH values, but the activity was lost at high pH values. This bacteriocin was inactivated by pronase E and alpha, beta-chymotrypsin, but not by trypsin, pepsin, and alpha-amylase. Cultures of L. lactis subsp. lactis A164 maintained at a constant pH of 6.0 exhibited maximum production of the bacteriocin. It was purified to homogeneity by ammonium sulphate precipitation, sequential ion exchange chromatography, and ultrafiltration. Tricine-SDS-PAGE of purified bacteriocin gave the same molecular weight of 3.5 kDa as that of nisin. The gene encoding this bacteriocin was amplified by PCR with nisin gene-specific primers and sequenced. It showed identical sequences to the nisin gene. These results indicate that bacteriocin produced by Lactococcus lactis A164 is a nisin-like bacteriocin.
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