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Microbiology and Biotechnology Letters


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Food, Environment, and Other Topics in Biotechnology

Microbiol. Biotechnol. Lett. 2015; 43(4): 357-366

Received: October 13, 2015; Accepted: November 17, 2015

석류 껍질추출물이 식중독균 여시니아 엔테로콜리티카의 쿼럼센싱과 바이오필름 형성능 억제

Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) Peel Extract Inhibits Quorum Sensing and Biofilm Formation Potential in Yersinia enterocolitica

Soo Kyung Oh 1, Hyun Joo Chang 2, Hyang Sook Chun 3, Hyun Jin Kim 4 and Nari Lee 1*

1Research Group of Gut Microbiome, Korea Food Research Institute, Seongnam 13539, Republic of Korea, 2Research Group of Food Safety, Korea Food Research Institute, Seongnam 13539, Republic of Korea, 3School of Food Science and Technology, Chung-Ang University, Ansung 17546, Republic of Korea, 4Division of Applied Life Sciences (BK21 plus), and Department of Food Science and Technology, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 52828, Republic of Korea


Quorum sensing (QS) is involved in the process of cell-to-cell communication and as a gene regulatory mechanism, which has been implicated in bacterial pathogenicity. Bacteria use this QS system to control a variety of physiological processes. In this study, pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) peel extract (PPE) was first screened for its ability to inhibit QS in bio-reporter strains (Chromobacterium violaceum and C. violaceum CV026). Next, the ability of PPE to inhibit swimming motility and biofilm formation was examined in Y. enterocolitica. Additionally, changes in the expression of specific genes involved in the synthesis of the N-acylhomoserine lactones (AHLs; yenI and yenR) and in the flagellar regulon (fliA, fleB and flhDC) were evaluated by reverse transcription (RT)-PCR. The results show that PPE specifically inhibited and reduced QS-controlled violacein production by 78.5% in C. violaceum CV026, and decreased QS-associated biofilm formation and swimming motility in Y. enterocolitica without significantly affecting bacterial growth. These inhibitory effects were also associated with the downregulation of gene expression involved in the synthesis of AHLs and in motility. Our results suggest that PPE could be a potential therapeutic agent to prevent enteropathogens in humans, as well as highlight the need to further investigate the in vivo properties of PPE for clinical applications.

Keywords: Biofilm formation, C. violaceum, Pomegranate, Quorum sensing, Y. enterocolitica

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