Original Article

Antimicrobial and anti-biofilm effects of carotenoid pigment extracted from Rhodotorula glutinis strain on food-borne bacteria


Background and Objectives: Carotenoid pigments are among the most important pigments and have many applications in various food, cosmetics, hygiene industries and biotechnology. These pigments are produced by plants and microorganisms including Rhodotorula spp. This research intended to study the antimicrobial and antibiofilm effects of the carotenoid pigment from Rhodotorula glutinis on food spoilage bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella Typhimurium).
Materials and Methods: The R. glutinis was isolated from milk samples of cows with mastitis and ITS sequence-based typing was performed on them. After extracting the pigment from R. glutinis, its purity was examined using thin-layer chromatography. Following that, the broth microdilution method was used to evaluate antimicrobial effects of the pigment and MtP assay and subsequently scanning electron microscopy were used to assess the antibiofilm effects. In addition, the sub-MIC effects of the pigment on expression of quorum-sensing (QS) genes in S. Typhimurium isolates (sdiA and luxS) and S. aureus isolates (hld) were studied. Finally, the degree of toxicity of the pigment was analyzed using the MTT assay.
Results: ITS sequence analysis of R. glutinis revealed that the recently separated isolates exhibited strong differences with the strains recorded in NCBI database in genetic structure. The pigment produced by R. glutinis had strong antimicrobial effects and its mean MIC against S. Typhimurium isolates (17.0 μl.ml-1) was higher than the mean MIC against the S. aureus isolates (4.1 μl.ml-1). Electron microscope images and real-time observations indicated that the sub-MIC values of the pigment suppressed biofilm formation by suppressing expression of QS genes. In addition, the mentioned pigment at high MIC concentrations did not have toxic effects on Vero cells.
Conclusion: This research suggests that R. glutinis pigment is effective in destroying the planktonic form of food spoilage bacteria and degrading food spoilage biofilm-forming bacteria. Moreover, considering the low toxicity level of R. glutinis pigment for eukaryotic cells, we can suggest its use as a natural antibacterial preservative in various food materials.

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IssueVol 15 No 1 (2023) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/ijm.v15i1.11922
Rhodotorula glutinis; Food-borne bacteria; Carotenoid pigment; Quorum sensing; Anti-biofilm

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How to Cite
Naisi S, Bayat M, Zahraei Salehi‬T, Rahimian Zarif B, Yahyaraeyat R. Antimicrobial and anti-biofilm effects of carotenoid pigment extracted from Rhodotorula glutinis strain on food-borne bacteria. Iran J Microbiol. 2023;15(1):79-88.