The quorum-sensing regulation of class II bacteriocin (AcH) synthesis in Lactobacillus plantarum subsp. plantarum Zhang-LL was studied. No detectable inhibition zone was formed by the supernatant of L. plantarum subsp. plantarum Zhang-LL culture in skim milk (SM) with an inoculum size of 7 × 102 CFU/mL after incubation for 36 h. Hence, this culture system was used to investigate the induced regulation mechanism of bacteriocin production in L. plantarum subsp. plantarum Zhang-LL. Bacteriocin production by this bacterium in SM medium was induced by treatment with inactivated culture supernatant from de Man Rogosa Sharpe (MRS) medium (supernatant-MRS). Pediocin AcH encoded by the papA gene in a plasmid in strain Zhang-LL was the inducer present in supernatant-MRS. This is the first report of the role of pediocin AcH in the quorum-sensing regulation of class II bacteriocin synthesis. The mRNA of the papA, papB, papC, and papD genes involved in bacteriocin synthesis by strain Zhang-LL in SM medium was upregulated significantly after being induced by pediocin AcH. This study offers the first evidence that the ABT40_05745, ABT40_05750, and ABT40_11975 components of two-component systems in L. plantarum subsp. plantarum Zhang-LL are involved in the induced regulation of AcH bacteriocin production.

  • SM with small inoculum size was used to verify induced regulation of AcH production.

  • AcH production was regulated by quorum sensing, and pediocin AcH was the inducer.

  • Three genes encoding two-component systems were involved in regulation of AcH production.

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