Journal of Dairy Research

Original Articles

Different bacteriophage resistance mechanisms in Streptococcus salivarius subsp. thermophilus

Dejla Larbia1, Bernard Decarisa1 and Jean-Marc Simoneta1

a1 Laboratoire de Génetique et Microbiologie, Faculté des Sciences, Université Nancy I, BP 239, 54506 Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy, France

Summary

Streptococcus salivarius subsp. thermophilus strain NST5 exhibited a temperature-dependent defence mechanism against the virulent bacteriophages φ.B1.2 and φA1.1. It was active at 42 °C but not at 30 °C as demonstrated by a significant increase of both plaque size and efficiency of plaquing. This defence mechanism did not affect host-dependent phage replication and did not interfere with phage adsorption to NST5. These results suggest that it interfered with phage development. The phages φT33, φT58, φD1, φT21 and φT9, belonging to the same phage type as φB1.2, were examined for their ability to infect NST3 and NST5. Restriction modification systems of different specificity were detected in NST3 and NST5; host-dependent phage replication was detected at 30 and 42 °C; an abortive defence mechanism was detected in NST5 which was active at 42 °C, but not 30 °C, and was independent of restriction modification action or interference with phage adsorption. Our investigations of phage-host interactions showed that the two Str. salivarius subsp. thermophilus strains studied avoided attack by related bacteriophages by evolving at least three different resistance systems.

(Received April 15 1991)

(Accepted February 06 1992)