Aims: To identify and characterize new bacteriocins from a collection of 41 strains belonging to 27 subspecies of Bacillus thuringiensis, and to evaluate the safety of the producers. Methods and Results: Bacillus thuringiensis ssp. entomocidus HD9 produced in the culture supernatant an antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive bacteria including Listeria monocytogenes, one of four pathogenic Pseudomonas aeruginosa and several fungi. Production of the antibacterial activity, named entomocin 9, started during mid-logarithmic growth reaching its maximum at the early stationary phase. Entomocin 9 retained more than 72% of activity after incubation for 20 min at 121°C. Activity was lost after proteinase K treatment, it was stable in a pH range between 3 and 9, and resistant to lyophilization. After partial purification with ammonium sulphate precipitation followed by gel-filtration and anion-exchange chromatography, an active protein of ca 12-4 kDa was isolated. The mode of action of entomocin 9 was bactericidal and caused cell lysis of growing cells. Despite the presence of a range of virulence related genes, including haemolysin BL, nonhaemolytic enterotoxin, cytotoxin K and several hydrolytic activities, B. thuringiensis HD9 was not toxic against Vero cells. Conclusions: Entomocin 9 is a novel heat-stable, bacteriocin produced by B. thuringiensis HD9. The absence of toxicity against Vero cells suggests the suitability of strain HD9 for a safe application in antimicrobial treatments. Significance and Impact of the Study: New finding on entomocin 9 would make B. thuringiensis attractive in biotechnological applications as an antimicrobial agent in agriculture and food industry.
- B. thuringiensis entomocidus
- Bacillus thuringiensis safety evaluation
- Entomocin 9
- Partial purification
- Vero cell assay
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology