Spore germination of the psychrotolerant, red meat spoiler, Clostridium frigidicarnis

K. H. Adam, J. Brunt, G. Brightwell, S. H. Flint, M. W. Peck

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: To determine germination triggers of Clostridium frigidicarnis, an important spoilage bacterium of chilled vacuum-packed meat.

Methods and Results: Germination of Cl. frigidicarnis spores in the presence of a range of potential nutrient and non-nutrient germinants was tested by monitoring the fall in optical density and by phase-contrast microscopy. The amino acid l-valine induced strong germination when paired with l-lactate in sodium phosphate under anaerobic conditions. Several other amino acids promoted germination when paired with l-lactate in sodium phosphate and the co-germinants NaHCO3 and l-cysteine. Heat activation, while not necessary for germination, increased the rate of germination. Spore germination was not observed when spores were incubated aerobically.

Conclusions: Spores of psychrotolerant Cl. frigidicarnis germinated in the presence of l-valine in combination with l-lactate in sodium phosphate buffer under anaerobic conditions.

Significance and Impact of the Study: Anaerobic conditions, l-valine and l-lactate, have been identified as triggering germination in Cl. frigidicarnis, and are all present in packs of fresh, vacuum-packaged, red meat. This new information adds to what is known about red meat spoilage by cold tolerant clostridia and can be used to develop intervention strategies to prevent meat spoilage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-97
Number of pages6
JournalLetters in Applied Microbiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

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