Journal Article Adjacent-possible ecological niche: growth of Lactobacillus species co-cultured with Escherichia coli in a synthetic minimal medium

Mizuno, Kouhei  ,  Mizuno, Mamiko  ,  Yamauchi, Mio  ,  Takemura, Aya J.  ,  Medrano Romero, Veronica  ,  Morikawa, Kazuya

7p.12880 , 2017-10 , Nature Publishing Group
In certain conditions, members of the Lactobacillus genus are auxotrophs that have fastidious requirements for growth. Notably, Lactobacillus cannot grow in M9 medium, a minimal synthetic medium used for Escherichia coli. However, we found that some Lactobacillus strains can be grown in M9 when co-cultured with E. coli K-12. In the co-culture, L. casei proliferates exponentially, reaching cell densities of 108 CFU (colony-forming unit) ml−1 in 6 h and dominating E. coli in the late growth phase. Spent medium from E. coli grown overnight lacked this growth-promoting effect on L. casei. Similarly, the effect was not observed when the species were separated by a 0.4-µm membrane. Microscopic observations showed that L. casei are embedded in the micro-scale clusters of E. coli in the early growth phase. This study describes for the first time the ability of a Lactobacillus species to grow in minimal medium when in close proximity with co-cultured bacteria.

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