Release of β-galactosidase from Lactobacilli

Graziella Montanari1*, Carlo Zambonelli1, Luigi Grazia2, Marzia Benevelli1 and Cristiana Chiavari1

Dipartimento di Protezione e Valorizzazione Agroalimentare (DIPROVAL) Università di Bologna, Villa Levi, Via F.lli Rosselli, 107, 42100 Reggio Emilia, Italy

2Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Agroalimentari, Ambientali e Microbiologiche (DISTAAM) Università del Molise, Via De Sanctis, 86100 Campobasso, Italy

Article history:

Received April 3, 2000
Accepted May 17, 2000

Key words:

lactic acid bacteria, autolysis, β-galactosidase


Lactobacillus brevis cells at the end of growth release intracellular β-galactosidase into the medium. Enzyme release begins immediately after the end of cell multiplication and is connected to cell autolysis and breakage of the cell wall. Lactobacillus plantarum cells did not release β-galactosidase because autolysis occurred in a different way. The cells initially collapsed, without showing signs of cell wall breakage, which became evident only after 30 or more days from the end of growth. 

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