Cyclic Lipopeptide Biosynthetic Genes and Products, and Inhibitory Activity of Plant-Associated Bacillus against Phytopathogenic Bacteria.
ABSTRACT: The antibacterial activity against bacterial plant pathogens and its relationships with the presence of the cyclic lipopeptide (cLP) biosynthetic genes ituC (iturin), bmyB (bacillomycin), fenD (fengycin) and srfAA (surfactin), and their corresponding antimicrobial peptide products have been studied in a collection of 64 strains of Bacillus spp. isolated from plant environments. The most frequent antimicrobial peptide (AMP) genes were bmyB, srfAA and fenD (34-50% of isolates). Most isolates (98.4%) produced surfactin isoforms, 90.6% iturins and 79.7% fengycins. The antibacterial activity was very frequent and generally intense among the collection of strains because 75% of the isolates were active against at least 6 of the 8 bacterial plant pathogens tested. Hierarchical and correspondence analysis confirmed the presence of two clearly differentiated groups. One group consisted of Bacillus strains that showed a strong antibacterial activity, presented several cLPs genes and produced several isoforms of cLPs simultaneously, mainly composed of B. subtilis and B. amyloliquefaciens, although the last one was exclusive to this group. Another group was characterized by strains with very low or none antibacterial activity, that showed one or none of the cLP genes and produced a few or none of the corresponding cLPs, and was the most heterogenous group including B. subtilis, B. licheniformis, B. megaterium, B. pumilus, B. cereus and B. thuringiensis, although the last two were exclusive to this group. This work demonstrated that the antagonistic capacity of plant-associated Bacillus against plant pathogenic bacteria is related to the presence of cLP genes and to the production of the corresponding cLPs, and it is mainly associated to the species B. subtilis and B. amyloliquefaciens. Our findings would help to increase the yield and efficiency of screening methods to obtain candidate strains to biocontrol agents with a mechanism of action relaying on the production of antimicrobial cLPs.
Project description:This study aimed to improve the screening method for the selection of Bacillus biocontrol agents against crown gall disease. The relationship between the strain biocontrol ability and their in vitro studied traits was investigated to identify the most important factors to be considered for the selection of effective biocontrol agents. In fact, previous selection procedure relying only on in vitro antibacterial activity was shown to be not suitable in some cases. A direct plant-protection strategy was performed to screen the 32 Bacillus biocontrol agent candidates. Moreover, potential in vitro biocontrol traits were investigated including biofilm formation, motility, hemolytic activity, detection of lipopeptide biosynthetic genes (sfp, ituC and bmyB) and production of antibacterial compounds. The obtained results indicated high correlations of the efficiency of the biocontrol with the reduction of gall weight (p = 0.000) and the antibacterial activity in vitro (p = 0.000). Moreover, there was strong correlations of the efficiency of the biocontrol (p = 0.004) and the reduction in gall weight (p = 0.000) with the presence of the bmyB gene. This gene directs the synthesis of the lipopeptide bacillomycin belonging to the iturinic family of lipopeptides. These results were also confirmed by the two-way hierarchical cluster analysis and the correspondence analysis showing the relatedness of these four variables. According to the obtained results a new screening procedure of Bacillus biocontrol agents against crown gall disease could be advanced consisting on two step selection procedure. The first consists on selecting strains with high antibacterial activity in vitro or those harbouring the bmyB gene. Further selection has to be performed on tomato plants in vivo. Moreover, based on the results of the biocontrol assay, five potent strains exhibiting high biocontrol abilities were selected. They were identified as Bacillus subtilis or Bacillus amyloliquefaciens. These strains were found to produce either surfactin or surfactin and iturin lipopeptides. In conclusion, our study presented a new and effective method to evaluate the biocontrol ability of antagonistic Bacillus strains against crown gall disease that could increase the efficiency of screening method of biocontrol agents. Besides, the selected strains could be used as novel biocontrol agents against pathogenic Agrobacterium tumefaciens strains.
Project description:Application of Bacillus cyclic lipopeptides (CLPs); fengycin, iturin A and surfactin has shown a great potential in controlling the spread of green mold pathogen invasion (Penicillium digitatum) in wounded mandarin fruit during postharvest period. The limited defensive protein profiles followed specific expression of pivotal genes relating to plant hormone mediating signaling pathways of the CLPs' action on stimulating host plant resistance have been exhibited. The present study aimed to elucidate the specific effect of individual CLP obtained from Bacillus subtilis ABS-S14 as elicitor role on activation of plant defensive system at transcriptional and proteomic levels with and without P. digitatum co-application in mandarin fruit. Fengycin and iturin A elevated the gene expression of PAL, ACS1, ACO, CHI, and GLU while significantly stimulating plant POD transcription was only detected in the treatments of surfactin both with and without following P. digitatum. An increase of LOX and PR1 gene transcripts was determined in the treatments of individual CLP with fungal pathogen co-application. Fengycin activated production of unique defensive proteins such as protein involved in ubiquinone biosynthetic process in treated flavedo without P. digitatum infection. Proteins involved in the auxin modulating pathway were present in the iturin A and surfactin treatments. CLP-protein binding assay following proteome analysis reveals that iturin A attached to 12-oxophytodienoate reductase 2 involved in the oxylipin biosynthetic process required for jasmonic acid production which is implicated in induced systemic resistance (ISR). This study suggests specific elicitor action of individual CLP, particularly iturin A showed the most powerful in stimulating the ISR system in response to stresses in postharvest mandarins.
Project description:Bacillus subtilis XF-1 has been used as a biocontrol agent of clubroot disease of crucifers infected by Plasmodiophora brassicae, an obligate pathogen. In order to maximize the growth inhibition of the pathogen, random mutagenesis using N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine was applied to strain XF-1. The efficacy of 226 selected mutants was assessed against the growth of an indicator fungal pathogen: Fusarium solani using agar plate assay and the disruptive effects on the resting spores of P. brassicae. Four mutants exhibited inhibition activity significantly higher than the wild type. The cell extracts of these mutants and the XF-1 were subjected to matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectra analysis, and three families of cyclic lipopeptides (CLPs) fengycin, surfactin and iturin were identified from the parental strain and the screened mutants. However, the relative contents and compound diversity changed after mutagenesis, and there was slight variation in the surfactin and fengycin. Notably, only 5 iturin components were discovered from the wild strain XF-1, but 13 were obtained from the mutant strains, and the relative CLPs contents of all mutant strains increased substantially. The results suggested that CLPs might be one of main biocontrol mechanisms of the clubroot disease by XF-1. The 4 mutants are far more effective than the parental strain, and they would be promising biocontrol candidates not only against P. brassicae but probably other plant diseases caused by fungi.
Project description:The nucleotide sequence of the 20,535 base pairs of the 5' end of the srfA operon, containing the region required for competence development, was determined. This included the srfA promoter region, the first open reading frame, srfAA, encoding surfactin synthetase I and part of the second open reading frame, srfAB, encoding surfactin synthetase II. Three amino acid-activating domains characteristic of those found in peptide synthetases could be discerned in both srfAA (activating Glu, Leu and D-Leu) and srfAB (activating Val, Asp, and D-Leu). The presence of a conserved spacer motif in the amino-terminal end of srfAA suggests that the srfAA product may not initiate surfactin synthesis. The portion of srfA that contains the region required for competence is composed of srfAA and the first amino acid-activating domain of srfAB.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Plipastatin is a potent Bacillus antimicrobial lipopeptide with the prospect to replace conventional antifungal chemicals for controlling plant pathogens. However, the application of this lipopeptide has so far been investigated in a few cases, principally because of the yield in low concentration and unknown regulation of biosynthesis pathways. B. subtilis synthesizes plipastatin by a non-ribosomal peptide synthetase encoded by the ppsABCDE operon. In this study, B. subtilis 3NA (a non-sporulation strain) was engineered to gain more insights about plipastatin mono-production. RESULTS:The 4-phosphopantetheinyl transferase Sfp posttranslationally converts non-ribosomal peptide synthetases from inactive apoforms into their active holoforms. In case of 3NA strain, sfp gene is inactive. Accordingly, the first step was an integration of a repaired sfp version in 3NA to construct strain BMV9. Subsequently, plipastatin production was doubled after integration of a fully expressed degQ version from B. subtilis DSM10T strain (strain BMV10), ensuring stimulation of DegU-P regulatory pathway that positively controls the ppsABSDE operon. Moreover, markerless substitution of the comparably weak native plipastatin promoter (Ppps) against the strong constitutive promoter Pveg led to approximately fivefold enhancement of plipastatin production in BMV11 compared to BMV9. Intriguingly, combination of both repaired degQ expression and promoter exchange (Ppps::Pveg) did not increase the plipastatin yield. Afterwards, deletion of surfactin (srfAA-AD) operon by the retaining the regulatory comS which is located within srfAB and is involved in natural competence development, resulted in the loss of plipastatin production in BMV9 and significantly decreased the plipastatin production of BMV11. We also observed that supplementation of ornithine as a precursor for plipastatin formation caused higher production of plipastatin in mono-producer strains, albeit with a modified pattern of plipastatin composition. CONCLUSIONS:This study provides evidence that degQ stimulates the native plipastatin production. Moreover, a full plipastatin production requires surfactin synthetase or some of its components. Furthermore, as another conclusion of this study, results point towards ornithine provision being an indispensable constituent for a plipastatin mono-producer B. subtilis strain. Therefore, targeting the ornithine metabolic flux might be a promising strategy to further investigate and enhance plipastatin production by B. subtilis plipastatin mono-producer strains.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Bacillus subtilis strain NCD-2 is an excellent biocontrol agent against plant soil-borne diseases and shows broad-spectrum antifungal activities. This study aimed to explore some secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters and related antimicrobial compounds in strain NCD-2. An integrative approach combining genome mining and structural identification technologies using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to quadrupole time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS), was adopted to interpret the chemical origins of metabolites with significant biological activities. RESULTS:Genome mining revealed nine gene clusters encoding secondary metabolites with predicted functions, including fengycin, surfactin, bacillaene, subtilosin, bacillibactin, bacilysin and three unknown products. Fengycin, surfactin, bacillaene and bacillibactin were successfully detected from the fermentation broth of strain NCD-2 by UHPLC-QTOF-MS/MS. The biosynthetic gene clusters of bacillaene, subtilosin, bacillibactin, and bacilysin showed 100% amino acid sequence identities with those in B. velezensis strain FZB42, whereas the identities of the surfactin and fengycin gene clusters were only 83 and 92%, respectively. Further comparison revealed that strain NCD-2 had lost the fenC and fenD genes in the fengycin biosynthetic operon. The biosynthetic enzyme-related gene srfAB for surfactin was divided into two parts. Bioinformatics analysis suggested that FenE in strain NCD-2 had a similar function to FenE and FenC in strain FZB42, and that FenA in strain NCD-2 had a similar function to FenA and FenD in strain FZB42. Five different kinds of fengycins, with 26 homologs, and surfactin, with 4 homologs, were detected from strain NCD-2. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of a non-typical gene cluster related to fengycin synthesis. CONCLUSIONS:Our study revealed a number of gene clusters encoding antimicrobial compounds in the genome of strain NCD-2, including a fengycin synthetic gene cluster that might be unique by using genome mining and UHPLC-QTOF-MS/MS. The production of fengycin, surfactin, bacillaene and bacillibactin might explain the biological activities of strain NCD-2.
Project description:In this study, Bacillus subtilis 9407 showed a strong antibacterial activity against Acidovorax citrulli in vitro and 61.7% biocontrol efficacy on melon seedlings 4 days post inoculation under greenhouse conditions. To understand the biocontrol mechanism of B. subtilis 9407, identify the primary antibacterial compound and determine its role in controlling bacterial fruit blotch (BFB), a srfAB deletion mutant (?srfAB) was constructed. The ?srfAB which was deficient in production of surfactin, not only showed almost no ability to inhibit growth of A. citrulli but also decreased biofilm formation and reduced swarming motility. Colonization assay demonstrated that B. subtilis 9407 could conlonize on melon roots and leaves in a large population, while ?srfAB showed a four- to ten-fold reduction in colonization of melon roots and leaves. Furthermore, a biocontrol assay showed that ?srfAB lost the biocontrol efficacy. In summary, our results indicated that surfactin, which consists of C13- to C16-surfactin A was the primary antibacterial compound of B. subtilis 9407, and it played a major role in biofilm formation, swarming motility, colonization and suppressing BFB. We propose that the biocontrol activity of B. subtilis 9407 is the results of the coordinated action of surfactin-mediated antibacterial activity and colonization. This study reveals for the first time that the use of a B. subtilis strain as a potential biological control agent could efficiently control BFB by producing surfactin.
Project description:An antimicrobial substance producing strain designated as A52 was isolated from a marine sediment sample and identified as Bacillus sp., based on 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. The ANI and dDDH analysis of the genome sequence displayed high identity with two strains of B. subtilis sub sp. subtilis. Strain A52 yielded two antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) that differed in activity spectrum. MALDI mass spectrometry analysis of HPLC purified fractions revealed mass of peptides as 3881.6 and 1061.9 Da. The antiSMASH analysis of genome sequence unraveled presence of identical biosynthetic cluster involved in production of sublancin from B. subtilis sub sp. subtilis strain 168, which yielded peptide with identical mass. The low molecular weight peptide is found to be a cyclic lipopeptide containing C16 ?-hydroxy fatty acid that resembled surfactin-like group of biosurfactants. However, it differed in fatty acid composition and antimicrobial spectrum in comparison to other surfactins produced by strains of B. subtilis. It exhibited broad spectrum antibacterial activity, inhibited growth of pathogenic strains of Candida and filamentous fungi. Further, it exhibited hemolytic activity, but did not show phytotoxic effect in seed germination experiment. The emulgel formulation of surfactin-like lipopeptide showed antimicrobial activity in vitro and did not show any irritation effects in animal studies using BALB/c mice. Moreover, surfactin-like lipopeptide displayed synergistic activity with fluconazole against Candida, indicating its potential for external therapeutic applications.
Project description:The genes of collagen-like proteins (CLPs) have been identified in a broad range of bacteria, including some human pathogens. They are important for biofilm formation and bacterial adhesion to host cells in some human pathogenic bacteria, including several Bacillus spp. strains. Interestingly, some bacterial CLP-encoding genes (clps) have also been found in non-human pathogenic strains such as B. cereus and B. amyloliquefaciens, which are types of plant-growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR). In this study, we investigated a putative cluster of clps in B. amyloliquefaciens strain FZB42 and a collagen-related structural motif containing glycine-X-threonine repeats was found in the genes RBAM_007740, RBAM_007750, RBAM_007760, and RBAM_007770. Interestingly, biofilm formation was disrupted when these genes were inactivated separately. Scanning electron microscopy and hydrophobicity value detection were used to assess the bacterial cell shape morphology and cell surface architecture of clps mutant cells. The results showed that the CLPs appeared to have roles in bacterial autoaggregation, as well as adherence to the surface of abiotic materials and the roots of Arabidopsis thaliana. Thus, we suggest that the CLPs located in the outer layer of the bacterial cell (including the cell wall, outer membrane, flagella, or other associated structures) play important roles in biofilm formation and bacteria-plant interactions. This is the first study to analyze the function of a collagen-like motif-containing protein in a PGPR bacterium. Knocking out each clp gene produced distinctive morphological phenotypes, which demonstrated that each product may play specific roles in biofilm formation. Our in silico analysis suggested that these four tandemly ranked genes might not belong to an operon, but further studies are required at the molecular level to test this hypothesis. These results provide insights into the functions of clps during interactions between bacteria and plants.
Project description:Non-self-recognition of microorganisms partly relies on the perception of microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs) and leads to the activation of an innate immune response. Bacillus subtilis produces three main families of cyclic lipopeptides (LPs), namely surfactins, iturins and fengycins. Although LPs are involved in induced systemic resistance (ISR) activation, little is known about defence responses induced by these molecules and their involvement in local resistance to fungi. Here, we showed that purified surfactin, mycosubtilin (iturin family) and plipastatin (fengycin family) are perceived by grapevine plant cells. Although surfactin and mycosubtilin stimulated grapevine innate immune responses, they differentially activated early signalling pathways and defence gene expression. By contrast, plipastatin perception by grapevine cells only resulted in early signalling activation. Gene expression analysis suggested that mycosubtilin activated salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA) signalling pathways, whereas surfactin mainly induced an SA-regulated response. Although mycosubtilin and plipastatin displayed direct antifungal activity, only surfactin and mycosubtilin treatments resulted in a local long-lasting enhanced tolerance to the necrotrophic fungus Botrytis cinerea in grapevine leaves. Moreover, challenge with specific strains overproducing surfactin and mycosubtilin led to a slightly enhanced stimulation of the defence response compared with the LP-non-producing strain of B. subtilis. Altogether, our results provide the first comprehensive view of the involvement of LPs from B. subtilis in grapevine plant defence and local resistance against the necrotrophic pathogen Bo. cinerea. Moreover, this work is the first to highlight the ability of mycosubtilin to trigger an immune response in plants.