Special Issue "Microbial Biocontrol in the Agri-Food Industry"

A special issue of Microorganisms (ISSN 2076-2607). This special issue belongs to the section "Antimicrobial Agents and Resistance".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Maurizio Ciani
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Life and Environmental Science, Polytechnic University of Marche, Food, Industrial and Environmental Microbiology Lab. Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy
Interests: yeast fermentation processes; wine and beer fermentation; yeast physiology; bioprocess; biomass recycling
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the use of natural antimicrobial compounds to limit or avoid the use of chemical antimicrobials. Natural antimicrobial compounds have potential applications in the food industry and biological control of plant pathogens, as well as therapeutic agents against animal and human infections. Natural antimicrobial compounds can come from plants (essential oils) or from microorganisms (bacteriocins, mycocines, active peptides). In spite of a wide range of possible applications, however, their exploitation on the industrial level is still limited and needs to be investigated. The actual and possible applications of natural compounds in agri-food are an interesting and growing field. In addition to the use of antimicrobial compounds, the microorganisms themselves can be used in the control of spoilage microorganisms along the entire production chain of agro-industry products. Likewise, the fast development of novelties in this research field needs up-to-date review papers..

In this Special Issue, we invite authors who are leading investigations in this topic to contribute to the knowledge of the use of natural antimicrobial compounds and biocontrol agents in the agri-food industry.

Prof. Maurizio Ciani
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Antimicrobial compounds
  • Food industry
  • Control of plant pathogens
  • Spoilage microorganisms
  • Killer yeasts
  • Antimicrobial peptides
  • Essential oils

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Antimicrobial Activity of Chemically and Biologically Treated Chitosan Prepared from Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) Pupal Shell Waste
Microorganisms 2021, 9(12), 2417; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9122417 - 23 Nov 2021
Viewed by 274
Abstract
Globally, the broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity of chitin and chitosan has been widely documented. However, very little research attention has focused on chitin and chitosan extracted from black soldier fly pupal exuviae, which are abundantly present as byproducts from insect-farming enterprises. This study presents [...] Read more.
Globally, the broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity of chitin and chitosan has been widely documented. However, very little research attention has focused on chitin and chitosan extracted from black soldier fly pupal exuviae, which are abundantly present as byproducts from insect-farming enterprises. This study presents the first comparative analysis of chemical and biological extraction of chitin and chitosan from BSF pupal exuviae. The antibacterial activity of chitosan was also evaluated. For chemical extraction, demineralization and deproteinization were carried out using 1 M hydrochloric acid at 100 °C for 2 h and 1 M NaOH for 4 h at 100 °C, respectively. Biological chitin extraction was carried out by protease-producing bacteria and lactic-acid-producing bacteria for protein and mineral removal, respectively. The extracted chitin was converted to chitosan via deacetylation using 40% NaOH for 8 h at 100 °C. Chitin characterization was done using FTIR spectroscopy, while the antimicrobial properties were determined using the disc diffusion method. Chemical and biological extraction gave a chitin yield of 10.18% and 11.85%, respectively. A maximum chitosan yield of 6.58% was achieved via chemical treatment. From the FTIR results, biological and chemical chitin showed characteristic chitin peaks at 1650 and 1550 cm−1wavenumbers corresponding to amide I stretching and amide II bending, respectively. There was significant growth inhibition for Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis,Pseudomonas aeruginosa,Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida albicans when subjected to 2.5 and 5% concentrations of chitosan. Our findings demonstrate that chitosan from BSF pupal exuviae could be a promising and novel therapeutic agent for drug development against resistant strains of bacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Biocontrol in the Agri-Food Industry)
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Article
Effects of Moringa oleifera Leaf Extracts on Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris
Microorganisms 2021, 9(11), 2244; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9112244 - 28 Oct 2021
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Abstract
Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc) is a Gram-negative bacterium belonging to the Xanthomonodaceae family, causing black rot in crucifers. To control this pathogen, the study investigated the effect of different leaves extracts of Moringa oleifera Lam., a tropical plant, well known for its [...] Read more.
Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc) is a Gram-negative bacterium belonging to the Xanthomonodaceae family, causing black rot in crucifers. To control this pathogen, the study investigated the effect of different leaves extracts of Moringa oleifera Lam., a tropical plant, well known for its food properties and with countless applications in many different fields, from nutraceutical (hypoglycemic) to the cosmetic (sunscreen) properties. Nevertheless, several studies pointed to its antibacterial action against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. Many bioactive compounds, including flavonoids, phenolic acids, alkaloids, isothiocyanates, tannins and saponins, contained in these extracts, are responsible for its countless activities. The analyses carried out in this study show that the methanolic, hydroalcoholic and hydroalcoholic maltodextrin extracts have both bacteriostatic and bactericidal effects at concentrations of 0.5, 0.5 and 0.1 mg/mL respectively. In particular, the study shows how all extracts can alter membrane permeability, to adversely affect swarming motility, and to alter biofilm formation in Xcc. The in planta experiments showed a reduction of the necrosis area in the infected radishes, although the ability of the extracts to be absorbed by root systems is yet to be understood, in order to reach the target point. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Biocontrol in the Agri-Food Industry)
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Article
Screening of Lactic Acid Bacteria for the Bio-Control of Botrytis cinerea and the Potential of Lactiplantibacillus plantarum for Eco-Friendly Preservation of Fresh-Cut Kiwifruit
Microorganisms 2021, 9(4), 773; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9040773 - 07 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 765
Abstract
Botrytis cinerea, responsible for grey mold, represents the first biological cause of fruit and vegetable spoilage phenomena in post-harvest. Kiwifruit is a climacteric fruit particularly prone to this mold infestation during storage. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are food-grade bacteria that can synthesize [...] Read more.
Botrytis cinerea, responsible for grey mold, represents the first biological cause of fruit and vegetable spoilage phenomena in post-harvest. Kiwifruit is a climacteric fruit particularly prone to this mold infestation during storage. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are food-grade bacteria that can synthesize several metabolites with antimicrobial activity and are, therefore, suggested as promising and eco-friendly resources for the bio-control of molds on fruits and vegetables. In this work, we propose the screening of a collection of 300 LAB previously isolated from traditional sourdoughs for their ability to counteract in vitro the growth of Botrytis cinerea CECT 20973. Only 2% of tested LAB strains belonging to Lactiplantibacillus plantarum species, exerted a strong antagonism against B. cinerea. The cell-free supernatants were partially characterized and results clearly indicated that high levels of lactic acid contributed to the antagonistic activity. PAN01 and UFG 121 cell-free supernatants were investigated as potential bio-control agents in a preliminary in vivo assay using freshly cut kiwifruits as a food model. The application of cell-free supernatants allowed to delay the growth of B. cinerea on artificially contaminated kiwifruits until two weeks. The antagonistic activity was greatly affected by the storage temperature (25 °C and 4 °C) selected for the processed fruits, suggesting the importance to include microbial-based solution in a broader framework of hurdle technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Biocontrol in the Agri-Food Industry)
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Article
Purification and Characterization of WA18, a New Mycocin Produced by Wickerhamomyces anomalus Active in Wine Against Brettanomyces bruxellensis Spoilage Yeasts
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 56; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010056 - 28 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 885
Abstract
Wickerhamomyces anomalus strain 18, isolated from a natural underground cheese ripening pit, secretes a mycocin named WA18 that inhibits wine spoilage yeasts belonging to Brettanomyces bruxellensis species, with a broad-spectrum of activity. WA18 was purified, and the purified protein was digested with specific [...] Read more.
Wickerhamomyces anomalus strain 18, isolated from a natural underground cheese ripening pit, secretes a mycocin named WA18 that inhibits wine spoilage yeasts belonging to Brettanomyces bruxellensis species, with a broad-spectrum of activity. WA18 was purified, and the purified protein was digested with specific restriction enzymes (lysine K and arginine R cut sites). The LC–MS and LC–MS/MS analysis after enzymatic digestions revealed a molecular weight of 31 kDa. Bioinformatics processing and database research of digested pure killer protein showed 99% identity with a UDP-glycosyltransferase protein. Competitive inhibition assay of killer activity by cell-wall polysaccharides suggests that branched glucans represent the first receptor site of the toxin on the envelope of the sensitive target. The WA18 partially purified crude extract (PPCE) showed high stability of antimicrobial activity at the physicochemical conditions suitable for the winemaking process. Indeed, in wine WA18 was able to counteract B. bruxellensis and control the production of ethyl phenols. In addition, the strain WA18 was compatible with Saccharomyces cerevisiae in co-culture conditions with a potential application together with commercial starter cultures. These data suggest that WA18 mycocin is a promising biocontrol agent against spoilage yeasts in winemaking, particularly during wine storage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Biocontrol in the Agri-Food Industry)
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