Optimizing Lactococcus lactis performance during industrial processes.
Even when they live in identical environments, bacteria can behave differently. This phenomenon –phenotypic heterogeneity – can be fitness enhancing and has been the basis for evolution of multicellular organisms in which isogenic cells divide task for the benefit of all. Also, it can impair industrial processes if not all cells behave optimally.
Here we study the occurrence of phenotypic heterogeneity in Lactococcus lactis (a model lactic acid bacterium, used in milk fermentations), why such heterogeneity evolved, how it is regulated on a molecular level, and how it can be manipulated in a non-GMO way.