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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2001 Feb;67(2):1004-7.

Regulation of polyglutamic acid synthesis by glutamate in Bacillus licheniformis and Bacillus subtilis.

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  • 1Institute of Microbiology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia 1113, Bulgaria.


The synthesis of polyglutamic acid (PGA) was repressed by exogenous glutamate in strains of Bacillus licheniformis but not in strains of Bacillus subtilis, indicating a clear difference in the regulation of synthesis of capsular slime in these two species. Although extracellular gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase (GGT) activity was always present in PGA-producing cultures of B. licheniformis under various growth conditions, there was no correlation between the quantity of PGA and enzyme activity. Moreover, the synthesis of PGA in the absence of detectable GGT activity in B. subtilis S317 indicated that this enzyme was not involved in PGA biosynthesis in this bacterium. Glutamate repression of PGA biosynthesis may offer a simple means of preventing unwanted slime production in industrial fermentations using B. licheniformis.

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