April 21, 2020  |  

Genomic and Functional Characterization of the Endophytic Bacillus subtilis 7PJ-16 Strain, a Potential Biocontrol Agent of Mulberry Fruit Sclerotiniose.

Bacillus sp. 7PJ-16, an endophytic bacterium isolated from a healthy mulberry stem and previously identified as Bacillus tequilensis 7PJ-16, exhibits strong antifungal activity and has the capacity to promote plant growth. This strain was studied for its effectiveness as a biocontrol agent to reduce mulberry fruit sclerotiniose in the field and as a growth-promoting agent for mulberry in the greenhouse. In field studies, the cell suspension and supernatant of strain 7PJ-16 exhibited biocontrol efficacy and the lowest disease incidence was reduced down to only 0.80%. In greenhouse experiments, the cell suspension (1.0?×?106 and 1.0?×?105 CFU/mL) and the cell-free supernatant (100-fold and 1000-fold dilution) stimulated mulberry seed germination and promoted mulberry seedling growth. In addition, to accurately identify the 7PJ-16 strain and further explore the mechanisms of its antifungal and growth-promoting properties, the complete genome of this strain was sequenced and annotated. The 7PJ-16 genome is comprised of two circular plasmids and a 4,209,045-bp circular chromosome, containing 4492 protein-coding genes and 116 RNA genes. This strain was ultimately designed as Bacillus subtilis based on core genome sequence analyses using a phylogenomic approach. In this genome, we identified a series of gene clusters that function in the synthesis of non-ribosomal peptides (surfactin, fengycin, bacillibactin, and bacilysin) as well as the ribosome-dependent synthesis of tasA and bacteriocins (subtilin, subtilosin A), which are responsible for the biosynthesis of numerous antimicrobial metabolites. Additionally, several genes with function that promote plant growth, such as indole-3-acetic acid biosynthesis, the production of volatile substances, and siderophores synthesis, were also identified. The information described in this study has established a good foundation for understanding the beneficial interactions between endophytes and host plants, and facilitates the further application of B. subtilis 7PJ-16 as an agricultural biofertilizer and biocontrol agent.


April 21, 2020  |  

Antimicrobial, plant growth-promoting and genomic properties of the peanut endophyte Bacillus velezensis LDO2.

Peanut suffer from a number of fungal and bacterial pathogens, while plant endophytes were considered excellent candidates as biocontrol agents. In this study, the peanut endophytic bacterium LDO2 was evaluated for the potential of peanut pathogens inhibition and growth-promotion, and the genetic mechanisms were explored by genome mining. Strain LDO2 significantly inhibited the growth of peanut pathogenic fungi and pathogenic bacteria, and specifically, it showed pronounced inhibition on mycelia growth of Aspergillus flavus mycelia and caused mycelial deformity. Gene clusters responsible for antifungal metabolites (fengycin, surfactin, bacilysin) and antibacterial metabolites (butirosin, bacillaene, difficidin, macrolactin, surfactin, bacilysin) were identified. Strain LDO2 also exhibited several growth-promoting related features including phosphate solubilization, siderophore production and growth promotion of peanut root. Genes associated with plant growth promotion were also identified and analyzed, as well as genes related to secreted proteins. These findings suggested that this peanut endophyte could be a potential biocontrol agent in peanut production and a source of antimicrobial compounds for further exploitation. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.


April 21, 2020  |  

A Newly Isolated Bacillus subtilis Strain Named WS-1 Inhibited Diarrhea and Death Caused by Pathogenic Escherichia coli in Newborn Piglets.

Bacillus subtilis is recognized as a safe and reliable human and animal probiotic and is associated with bioactivities such as production of vitamin and immune stimulation. Additionally, it has great potential to be used as an alternative to antimicrobial drugs, which is significant in the context of antibiotic abuse in food animal production. In this study, we isolated one strain of B. subtilis, named WS-1, from apparently healthy pigs growing with sick cohorts on one Escherichia coli endemic commercial pig farm in Guangdong, China. WS-1 can strongly inhibit the growth of pathogenic E. coli in vitro. The B. subtilis strain WS-1 showed typical Bacillus characteristics by endospore staining, biochemical test, enzyme activity analysis, and 16S rRNA sequence analysis. Genomic analysis showed that the B. subtilis strain WS-1 shares 100% genomic synteny with B. subtilis with a size of 4,088,167 bp. Importantly, inoculation of newborn piglets with 1.5 × 1010 CFU of B. subtilis strain WS-1 by oral feeding was able to clearly inhibit diarrhea (p < 0.05) and death (p < 0.05) caused by pathogenic E. coli in piglets. Furthermore, histopathological results showed that the WS-1 strain could protect small intestine from lesions caused by E. coli infection. Collectively, these findings suggest that the probiotic B. subtilis strain WS-1 acts as a potential biocontrol agent protecting pigs from pathogenic E. coli infection. Importance: In this work, one B. subtilis strain (WS-1) was successfully isolated from apparently healthy pigs growing with sick cohorts on one E. coli endemic commercial pig farm in Guangdong, China. The B. subtilis strain WS-1 was identified to inhibit the growth of pathogenic E. coli both in vitro and in vivo, indicating its potential application in protecting newborn piglets from diarrhea caused by E. coli infections. The isolation and characterization will help better understand this bacterium, and the strain WS-1 can be further explored as an alternative to antimicrobial drugs to protect human and animal health.


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