In silico analysis of Lactobacillus pentosus MP-10 plasmids (pLPE-1 to pLPE-5) suggests that plasmid-borne genes mediate the persistence of lactobacilli during olive fermentation and enhance their probiotic properties and their competitiveness in several ecological niches. The role of plasmids in the probiotic activities of L. pentosus MP-10 was investigated by plasmid-curing process which showed that plasmids contribute in increased metal tolerance and the biosequestration of several metals such as iron, aluminium, cobalt, copper, zinc, cadmium and mercury. Statistically significant differences in mucin adhesion were detected between the uncured and the cured L. pentosus MP-10, which possibly relied on a serine-rich adhesin (sraP) gene detected on the pLPE-2 plasmid. However, plasmid curing did not affect their tolerance to gastro-intestinal conditions, neither their growth ability under pre-determined conditions, nor auto-aggregation and pathogen co-aggregation were changed among the cured and uncured L. pentosus MP-10. These findings suggest that L. pentosus MP-10 plasmids play an important role in gastro-intestinal protection due to their attachment to mucin and, thus, preventing several diseases. Furthermore, L. pentosus MP-10 could be used as a bioquencher of metals in the gut, reducing the amount of these potentially toxic elements in humans and animals, food matrices, and environmental bioremediation.
- Lactobacillus pentosus