Bacteriocins produced by lactic acid bacteria are proteinaceous antibacterial metabolites that normally exhibit bactericidal or bacteriostatic activity against genetically closely related bacteria. In this work, the bacteriocinogenic potential of Pediococcus pentosaceus strain ST58, isolated from oral cavity of a healthy volunteer was evaluated. To better understand the biological role of this strain, its technological and safety traits were deeply investigated through a combined approach considering physiological, metabolomic and genomic properties. Three out of 14 colonies generating inhibition zones were confirmed to be bacteriocin producers and, according to repPCR and RAPD-PCR, differentiation assays, and 16S rRNA sequencing it was confirmed to be replicates of the same strain, identified as P. pentosaceus, named ST58. Based on multiple isolation of the same strain (P. pentosaceus ST58) over the 26 weeks in screening process for the potential bacteriocinogenic strains from the oral cavity of the same volunteer, strain ST58 can be considered a persistent component of oral cavity microbiota. Genomic analysis of P. pentosaceus ST58 revealed the presence of operons encoding for bacteriocins pediocin PA-1 and penocin A. The produced bacteriocin(s) inhibited the growth of Listeria monocytogenes, Enterococcus spp. and some Lactobacillus spp. used to determine the activity spectrum. The highest levels of production (6400 AU/ml) were recorded against L. monocytogenes strains after 24 h of incubation and the antimicrobial activity was inhibited after treatment of the cell-free supernatants with proteolytic enzymes. Noteworthy, P. pentosaceus ST58 also presented antifungal activity and key metabolites potentially involved in these properties were identified. Overall, this strain can be of great biotechnological interest towards the development of effective bio-preservation cultures as well as potential health promoting microbes.
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