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Concept: Bacillus subtilis


BACKGROUND: The Bacillus subtilis genome-reduced strain MGB874 exhibits enhanced production of exogenous extracellular enzymes under batch fermentation conditions. We predicted that deletion of the gene for RocG, a bi-functional protein that acts as a glutamate dehydrogenase and an indirect repressor of glutamate synthesis, would improve glutamate metabolism, leading to further increased enzyme production. However, deletion of rocG dramatically decreased production of the alkaline cellulase Egl-237 in strain MGB874 (strain 874[increment]rocG). RESULTS: Transcriptome analysis and cultivation profiles suggest that this phenomenon is attributable to impaired secretion of alkaline cellulase Egl-237 and nitrogen starvation, caused by decreased external pH and ammonium depletion, respectively. With NH3-pH auxostat fermentation, production of alkaline cellulase Egl-237 in strain 874[increment]rocG was increased, exceeding that in the wild-type-background strain 168[increment]rocG. Notably, in strain 874[increment]rocG, high enzyme productivity was observed throughout cultivation, possibly due to enhancement of metabolic flux from 2-oxoglutarate to glutamate and generation of metabolic energy through activation of the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. The level of alkaline cellulase Egl-237 obtained corresponded to about 5.5 g l-1, the highest level reported so far. CONCLUSIONS: We found the highest levels of production of alkaline cellulase Egl-237 with the reduced-genome strain 874[increment]rocG and using the NH3-pH auxostat. Deletion of the glutamate dehydrogenase gene rocG enhanced enzyme production via a prolonged auxostat fermentation, possibly due to improved glutamate synthesis and enhanced generation of metabolism energy.

Concepts: Protein, Cell, Bacteria, Amino acid, Metabolism, Enzyme, Nitrogen, Bacillus subtilis


Nine bacilli with fibrinolytic activities were isolated from Doenjang, a traditional Korean fermented soy food. Among them, RSB 34 showed the strongest activity and identified as Bacillus amyloliquefaciens by 16S rRNA and recA genes sequencing. During growth on LB up to 96 h, RSB34 showed the highest fibrinolytic activity (83.23 mU/μl) at 48 h. Three bands of 23, 27, and 42 kDa in size were observed when culture supernatant was analyzed by SDS-PAGE and 27 and 42 kDa bands by fibrin zymography. A gene encoding the 27 kDa major fibrinolytic enzyme, AprE34, was cloned by PCR. BLAST searches confirmed that the gene was a homolog to genes encoding AprE type proteases. aprE34 was overexpressed in Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3) using pET26b(+). Recombinant AprE34 was purified and examined for the properties. Km and Vmax values of recombinant AprE34 were 0.131±0.026 mM and 16.551±0.316 μM/l/min, respectively, when measured by using an artificial substrate, N-succinyl-ala-ala-pro-phe-p-nitroanilide. aprE34 was overexpressed in B. subtilis WB600 using pHY300PLK. B. subtilis transformants harboring pHYRSB34 (pHY300PLK with aprE34) showed higher fibrinolytic activity than B. amyloliquefaciens RSB34.

Concepts: DNA, Protein, Bacteria, Molecular biology, RNA, Escherichia coli, Bacillus, Bacillus subtilis


Bacillus subtilis GQJK2 is a plant growth-promoting rhizobacterium with antifungal activity which was isolated from Lycium barbarum L. rhizosphere. Here, we report the complete genome sequence of B. subtilis GQJK2. Ten gene clusters involved in the biosynthesis of antagonistic compounds were predicted.

Concepts: DNA, Bacteria, Organism, Genome, Genomics, Bacillus, Bacillus subtilis, Wolfberry


Fungal-bacterial interactions are highly diverse and contribute to many ecosystem processes. Their emergence under common environmental stress scenarios however, remains elusive. Here we use a synthetic microbial ecosystem based on the germination of Bacillus subtilis spores to examine whether fungal and fungal-like (oomycete) mycelia reduce bacterial water and nutrient stress in an otherwise dry and nutrient-poor microhabitat. We find that the presence of mycelia enables the germination and subsequent growth of bacterial spores near the hyphae. Using a combination of time of flight- and nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF- and nanoSIMS) coupled with stable isotope labelling, we link spore germination to hyphal transfer of water, carbon and nitrogen. Our study provides direct experimental evidence for the stimulation of bacterial activity by mycelial supply of scarce resources in dry and nutrient-free environments. We propose that mycelia may stimulate bacterial activity and thus contribute to sustaining ecosystem functioning in stressed habitats.

Concepts: Bacteria, Plant, Fungus, Nitrogen, Bacillus, Mycelium, Bacillus subtilis, Endospore


Abstract Twenty-six strains of 22 bacterial species were tested for growth on trypticase soy agar (TSA) or sea-salt agar (SSA) under hypobaric, psychrophilic, and anoxic conditions applied singly or in combination. As each factor was added to multi-parameter assays, the interactive stresses decreased the numbers of strains capable of growth and, in general, reduced the vigor of the strains observed to grow. Only Serratia liquefaciens strain ATCC 27592 exhibited growth at 7 mbar, 0°C, and CO(2)-enriched anoxic atmospheres. To discriminate between the effects of desiccation and hypobaria, vegetative cells of Bacillus subtilis strain 168 and Escherichia coli strain K12 were grown on TSA surfaces and simultaneously in liquid Luria-Bertani (LB) broth media. Inhibition of growth under hypobaria for 168 and K12 decreased in similar ways for both TSA and LB assays as pressures were reduced from 100 to 25 mbar. Results for 168 and K12 on TSA and LB are interpreted to indicate a direct low-pressure effect on microbial growth with both species and do not support the hypothesis that desiccation alone on TSA was the cause of reduced growth at low pressures. The growth of S. liquefaciens at 7 mbar, 0°C, and CO(2)-enriched anoxic atmospheres was surprising since S. liquefaciens is ecologically a generalist that occurs in terrestrial plant, fish, animal, and food niches. In contrast, two extremophiles tested in the assays, Deinococcus radiodurans strain R1 and Psychrobacter cryohalolentis strain K5, failed to grow under hypobaric (25 mbar; R1 only), psychrophilic (0°C; R1 only), or anoxic (<0.1% ppO(2); both species) conditions. Key Words: Habitable zone-Hypobaria-Extremophiles-Special regions-Planetary protection. Astrobiology 13, xxx-xxx.

Concepts: Bacteria, Escherichia coli, Deinococcus radiodurans, Enterobacteriaceae, Bacillus, Pressure, Bacillus subtilis, Extremophiles


Streptavidin is a tetrameric protein with an extremely high affinity to biotin and different biotin-like peptide-tags. This characteristic causes its widespread use in biotechnology. Streptavidin is produced by the fermentation of wild type Streptomyces avidinii or by recombinant Streptomyces lavendulae, Escherichia coli, and Bacillus subtilis strains. However, little is known about the influence of power input and oxygen supply as well as feeding strategies on the production of streptavidin by S. avidinii. This paper provides a systematic analysis of the effect of rotary frequency of the stirrer, leading to a plateau-like streptavidin formation behaviour between 400 and 700min(-1). This plateau was characterized by specific power inputs between 79 and 107WL(-1) and corresponding maximal product concentrations of 6.90μM in 6 days. Lower as well as higher rotary frequencies were not beneficial. Subsequently, a linear fed-batch procedure could be established reproducibly yielding 39.20μM streptavidin in 14 days, characterized by a constant productivity of 114nMh(-1). Fed-batch procedures based on dissolved oxygen were less efficient. The linear feeding strategy presented in this paper led to the highest streptavidin concentration ever reported and exceeded the maximal product level given in the literature drastically by a factor of 8.5.

Concepts: Protein, Oxygen, Bacteria, Escherichia coli, Biotechnology, Bacillus, Bacillus subtilis, Input


Cyanogenic food crops abound in nature with important crops like cassava forming the staple food for over half a billion people. Detoxification by hydrolysis of cassava cyanogenic glycosides often involves acid fermentation, and in some of these processes Bacillus species are encountered. Forty Bacillus spp. (20 Bacillus subtilis, 11 Bacillus licheniformis, 7 Bacillus sonorensis, 2 Bacillus cereus) isolated from acid fermented primary starters to produce Gergoush, a Sudanese fermented snack, were screened for their ability to grow and to hydrolyze linamarin, the major cyanogen found in cassava at pH levels below 5.0; also the cyanogen amygdalin was assessed. The B. subtilis isolates grew in both HCl and lactic acid environments from pH4.5-6.0 while being able to break down the cyanogenic glycosides. The B. licheniformis and B. sonorensis isolates grew and degraded cyanogens at pH5.0 in a HCl environment, while two B. cereus isolates used in the study showed no breakdown reaction under all conditions tested. One B. subtilis isolate was observed to have substrate specificity between the breakdown of linamarin and amygdalin. We conclude that some Bacillus spp. isolates are important in the microbiological breakdown of cyanogens in cassava fermentations even at pH4.5-5.0 though further investigations are required.

Concepts: Enzyme, Bacillus, Cassava, Bacillus subtilis, Endospore, Fermentation, Bacillaceae, Bacillus cereus


Evaluating different swabbing materials for spore recovery efficiency (RE) from steel surfaces, we recorded the maximum RE (71%) of 10(7) Bacillus subtilis spores with Tulips cotton buds, followed by Johnson’s cotton buds and standard Hi-Media cotton, polyester, nylon, and foam (23%) swabs. Among cotton swabs, instant water-absorbing capacity or the hydrophilicity index appeared to be the major indicator of RE, as determined by testing three more brands. Tulips swabs worked efficiently across diverse nonporous surfaces and on different Bacillus spp., registering 65 to 77% RE.

Concepts: Cotton, Spore, Bacillus, Asexual reproduction, Bacillus subtilis, Endospore, American inventions, Cotton swab


Bacillus subtilis can attain cellular protection against the detrimental effects of high osmolarity through osmotically induced de novo synthesis and uptake of the compatible solute l-proline. We have now found that B. subtilis can also exploit exogenously provided proline-containing peptides of various lengths and compositions as osmoprotectants. Osmoprotection by these types of peptides is generally dependent on their import via the peptide transport systems (Dpp, Opp, App, and DtpT) operating in B. subtilis and relies on their hydrolysis to liberate proline. The effectiveness with which proline-containing peptides confer osmoprotection varies considerably, and this can be correlated with the amount of the liberated and subsequently accumulated free proline by the osmotically stressed cell. Through gene disruption experiments, growth studies, and the quantification of the intracellular proline pool, we have identified the PapA (YqhT) and PapB (YkvY) peptidases as responsible for the hydrolysis of various types of Xaa-Pro dipeptides and Xaa-Pro-Xaa tripeptides. The PapA and PapB peptidases possess overlapping substrate specificities. In contrast, osmoprotection by peptides of various lengths and compositions with a proline residue positioned at their N terminus was not affected by defects in the PapA and PapB peptidases. Taken together, our data provide new insight into the physiology of the osmotic stress response of B. subtilis. They illustrate the flexibility of this ubiquitously distributed microorganism to effectively exploit environmental resources in its acclimatization to sustained high-osmolarity surroundings through the accumulation of compatible solutes.

Concepts: Protein, Amino acid, Cell biology, Peptide bond, Bacillus, Bacillus subtilis, Proline, Osmoprotectant


A series of polyketide metabolites (1-6), including a new chlorinated diphenyl ether (4-chloro-7,4'-dihydroxy-5,2'-dimethoxy-2-methylformate-6'-methybenzophone, 1), were isolated from the solid-fermented rice culture of Penicillium griseofulvum cib-119. The structure of compound 1 was determined on the basis of NMR spectra and single-crystal X-ray diffraction analyses. In addition, compound 1 showed weak cytotoxic activity against prostatic carcinoma cell (PC-3). Compounds 3-5 exhibited significant antimicrobial activities against Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis.

Concepts: Cancer, Diffraction, X-ray, Staphylococcus aureus, Prostate cancer, Bacillus, Bacillus subtilis