The study aims to generate the whole genome sequence of L. monocytogenes strain S2542 and to compare it to the genomes of strains RO15 and ScottA. In addition, we aimed to compare gene expression profiles of L. monocytogenes strains S2542, ScottA and RO15 after high-pressure processing (HPP) using ddPCR.
The whole genome sequence of L. monocytogenes S2542 indicates that this strain belongs to serotype 4b, in contrast to the previously reported serotype 1/2a. Strain S2542 appears to be more susceptible to the treatment at 400 MPa compared to RO15 and ScottA strains. In contrast to RO15 and ScottA strains, viable cell counts of strain S2542 were below the limit of detection after HPP (400 MPa/8 min) when stored at 8 °C for 24 and 48 h. The transcriptional response of all three strains to HPP was not significantly different.
Listeria monocytogenes is a gram-positive foodborne bacterium that can cause severe infections in humans. Listeriosis, the associated disease, particularly affects individuals with compromised immune systems  and may lead to hospitalization and mortality rates of 20–30% . Humans are generally infected following consumption of contaminated ready-to-eat (RTE) food products that do not undergo thermal treatment during the manufacturing process or are contaminated post-thermal treatment. L. monocytogenes can thrive in a range of inhospitable environmental conditions including low temperatures thus causing significant challenge to the food industry [3,4,5,6].
Recently, we have studied the transcriptional response of L. monocytogenes strains RO15 and ScottA to HPP by RNA-seq [7, 8]. We observed that our previous gene expression results  are negatively correlated with the results of a previous study on HPP-induced changes in gene expression of L. monocytogenes strain S2542 . Thus, our aim was to make a draft assembly of the genome of the strain S2542 (obtained from Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Research) and to compare the genome sequences of these three strains.
Based on the conflicting results regarding the HPP-induced changes in gene expression, we also performed a new set of HPP experiments under the same conditions as in our previous study  with all the three strains, and analyzed the transcriptional response of a number of representative genes.||en_US