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Streptococcus thermophilus growth in soya milk: Sucrose consumption, nitrogen metabolism, soya protein hydrolysis and role of the cell-wall protease PrtS

Abstract : Societal demand for plant-based foods is increasing. In this context, soya products fermented using lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are appealing because of their potential health and nutritional benefits. The thermophilic LAB Streptococcus thermophilus is an essential starter species in the dairy industry. However, while its physiology is well characterized, little is known about its general metabolic activity or its techno-functional properties when it is grown in soya milk. In this study, S. thermophilus LMD-9 growth, sugar production, and lactic acid production in soya milk versus cow's milk were measured. Additionally, the main metabolic pathways used by the bacterium when growing in soya milk were characterized using a proteomic approach. Streptococcus thermophilus LMD-9 growth decreased soya milk pH, from 7.5 to 4.9, in 5 h. During fermentation, acidification thus occurred in tandem with lactate production and increasing population size (final population: 1.0 x 10(9) CFU/ml). As growth proceeded, sucrose was consumed, and fructose was produced. The proteomic analysis (LC-MS/MS) of the strain's cytosolic and cell envelope-associated proteins revealed that proteins related to amino acid transport and nitrogen metabolism were the most common among the 328 proteins identified (63/328 = 19.2% of total proteins). The cell-wall protease PrtS was present, and an LMD-9 deletion mutant was constructed by interrupting the prtS gene (STER_RS04165 locus). Acidification levels, growth levels, and final population size were lower in the soya milk cultures when the AprtS strain versus the wild-type (wt) strain was used. The SDS-PAGE profile of the soluble proteins in the supernatant indicated that soya milk proteins were less hydrolyzed by the AprtS strain than by the wt strain. It was discovered that S. thermophilus can grow in soya milk by consuming sucrose, can hydrolyze soya proteins, and can produce acidification levels comparable to those in cow's milk. This study comprehensively examined the proteomics of S. thermophilus grown in soya milk and demonstrated that the cell-wall protease PrtS is involved in the LAB'S growth in soya milk and in the proteolysis of soya proteins, which are two novel findings. These results clarify how S. thermophilus adapts to soya milk and can help inform efforts to develop new fermented plant-based foods with better-characterized biochemical and microbiological traits.
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Submitted on : Thursday, September 2, 2021 - 3:08:17 PM
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Mylène Boulay, Maher Al Haddad, Françoise Rul. Streptococcus thermophilus growth in soya milk: Sucrose consumption, nitrogen metabolism, soya protein hydrolysis and role of the cell-wall protease PrtS. International Journal of Food Microbiology, Elsevier, 2020, 335, pp.108903. ⟨10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2020.108903⟩. ⟨hal-03332185⟩



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