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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Crop Bioprotection Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #351953

Research Project: Development of New Production Methodologies for Biocontrol Agents and Fastidious Microbes to Improve Plant Disease Management

Location: Crop Bioprotection Research

Title: The first report of antifungal lipopeptide production by a Bacillus subtilis subsp inaquosorum strain

item KNIGHT, CHINYERE - Tuskegee University
item Bowman, Michael
item FREDERICK, LAFAYETTE - Tuskegee University
item DAY, AGNES - Howard University
item LEE, CLARENCE - Howard University
item Dunlap, Christopher

Submitted to: Microbiological Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2018
Publication Date: 8/2/2018
Citation: Knight, C., Bowman, M.J., Frederick, L., Day, A., Lee, C., Dunlap, C.A. 2018. The first report of antifungal lipopeptide production by a Bacillus subtilis subsp inaquosorum strain. Microbiological Research. 216:40-46.

Interpretive Summary: This study describes the characterization of a bacterial strain that possess strong antifungal activity against a variety of plant pathogens. We used genomics and metabolomics to identify the antifungal metabolites responsible for the activity. The antifungal compound was identified as bacillomycin F, an uncommon antifungal metabolite. This strain was accessioned into the Crop Bioprotection Research Unit’s culture collection where its potential for agricultural applications can be assessed in future studies.

Technical Abstract: A strain of bacteria in the Bacillus subtilis species complex was isolated from a building’s air vent in the Washington DC area, USA, and produced strong antifungal activity with in vitro assays. This strain, designated (HU Biol-II), showed pronounced inhibitory effects on mycelial growth of a wide spectrum of fungi. The objectives of this study were to use genome sequencing to confirm the taxonomy of HU Biol-II, evaluate its antifungal activity and implement genome mining and HPLC-MS/MS to characterize the bioactive secondary metabolites. The strain, as determined by multilocus sequence alignment analysis, was identified as a member of Bacillus subtilis subsp. inaquosorum clade. Core genome phylogeny showed that the isolate is most closely related to B. subtilis subsp. inaquosorum strain DE111, a commercially produced human probiotic. The investigation identified eight bioactive metabolite clusters in the genome. HPLC MS/MS was able to confirm the production of seven of the metabolites. This study is the first to report the production of two antifungal cyclic lipopeptides (bacillomycin F and fengycin) from a member of B. subtilis subsp.inaquosorum. The strain also produced the antibacterial aurantinin B, which confirms the biosynthetic cluster responsible for its production. Comparative genomics and metabolomics demonstrated the commercial probiotic strain DE111 produced the same metabolites, with the exception of aurantinin B. These findings are the first description of the secondary metabolites produced by a strain of B. subtilits subsp.inaquosorum.