PhD defence

Adaptive strategies of Listeria monocytogenes: Evolved variants with altered stress resistance and fitness

PhD candidate X (Xuchuan) Ma MSc
Promotor prof.dr. T (Tjakko) Abee MW (Heidy) den Besten MH (Marcel) Zwietering
Organisation Wageningen University, Food Microbiology Laboratory

Tue 9 April 2024 13:30 to 15:00

Venue Omnia, building number 105
Hoge Steeg 2
6708 PH Wageningen
+31 (0) 317 - 484500
Room Auditorium


Ensuring our food is safe to eat requires efficient strategies to control foodborne pathogens throughout the food supply chain. Among these pathogens, Listeria monocytogenes is particularly notable due to its low incidence but high case-fatality rates. It is found almost everywhere - from soil and water to inside our fridges, making it a tough enemy to fight. In this study, we have investigated why L. monocytogenes can adapt and survive the challenging conditions it encounters from soil to human hosts. Specifically, we focused on genetic changes that make this pathogen more resistant to stress, grow faster, or better utilize nutrients like lactose. This thesis highlights the genetic diversity and adaptation capabilities of L. monocytogenes stress resistance, growth performance, and carbon source. A deeper mechanistic understanding of these adaptations can contribute to better controlling of this foodborne pathogen, thereby enhancing food safety and quality.