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Microbiology. 2001 Jul;147(Pt 7):1793-803.

A Bacillus amyloliquefaciens ChbB protein binds beta- and alpha-chitin and has homologues in related strains.

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Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung (IPK), Abteilung Molekulare Genetik, Corrensstrasse 3, 06466 Gatersleben, Germany.


A small (19.8 kDa) protein was identified in Bacillus amyloliquefaciens ALKO 2718 cultures during growth in the presence of yeast extract and chitin, but not with glucose. The protein targets beta-chitin best, then alpha-chitin, but barely any other polysaccharide. This described chitin-binding protein (ChbB) is the first of its type from a Bacillus strain and cross-reacts with antibodies raised against the Streptomyces alpha-chitin-binding protein CHB1. Using reverse genetics, the chromosomal chbB gene of strain ALKO 2718 was identified, cloned and sequenced. ChbB shares several motifs with the alpha-chitin-binding proteins CHB1 and CHB2 of Streptomyces and CBP21 of Serratia marcescens predominantly targeting beta-chitin. Synthesis was repressed by glucose and the presence of cre boxes suggests catabolite control. Using PCR, Southern hybridization and anti-ChbB antibodies, the presence of a chbB gene, as well as of a ChbB protein homologue, was ascertained in several tested B. amyloliquefaciens strains, but not in Bacillus subtilis 168. Contrary to B. subtilis 168, all B. amyloliquefaciens strains secreted varying amounts of enzymic activity, degrading carboxymethyl chitin coupled with Remazol brilliant violet.

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