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Co-synthesis of kenyacin 404 and heterologous thurincin H enhances the antibacterial activity of Bacillus thuringiensis

Oros-Flores, Zuleyka S., Casados-Vázquez, Luz E., Bideshi, Dennis K., Salcedo-Hernández, Rubén, Barboza-Corona, José E.
Biotechnology letters 2018 v.40 no.11-12 pp. 1531-1540
Bacillus cereus, Bacillus pseudomycoides, Bacillus thuringiensis, Gram-negative bacteria, Gram-positive bacteria, Listeria monocytogenes, Sphingobacterium, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, antibacterial properties, bacteriocins, genes, immunity
OBJECTIVES: To develop a recombinant strain of Bacillus thuringiensis that synthesizes two bacteriocins that enhance the antibacterial potency of the strain and that could have applied clinical and industrial value. RESULTS: We cloned the thurincin H cluster into the pHT3101 vector by assembling two genetic cassettes harboring genes for the synthesis, modification, immunity and transport of thurincin H. This construct was used to transform a thurincin H-sensitive strain of B. thuringiensis that synthesizes the kenyacin 404 to generate the recombinant Btk 404/pThurH which was immune to thurincin H and produces bacteriocins of approximately 3 kDa. A significant increase in the inhibitory activity, respectively, ~ 40 and 300%, was observed when compared with parental Btm 269 and Btk 404. Btk 404/pThurH showed increased activity against ten Gram-positive bacteria, including B. cereus, Listeria monocytogenes and B. pseudomycoides, and the Gram-negative bacterium, Sphingobacterium cabi. However, an antagonistic effect against Vibrio parahaemolyticus, relative to native strains, was observed. CONCLUSIONS: We have generated a recombinant strain of B. thuringiensis that co-synthesizes two bacteriocins (kenyacin 404, thurincin H) with improved inhibitory activity, when compared with parental strains. To our knowledge, this is the first study that shows that B. thuringiensis could be manipulated to produce two bacteriocins, one being of heterologous origin, that enhance the antibacterial activity of the recombinant strain.