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Arch Microbiol. 2007 Feb;187(2):117-26. Epub 2006 Oct 10.

Bacteriocin-like inhibitor substances produced by Mexican strains of Bacillus thuringiensis.

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Departamento de Ingeniería en Alimentos, Instituto de Ciencias Agrícolas, Universidad de Guanajuato, Apartado postal 311, Irapuato, Guanajuato 36500, México.


Bacteriocins are antimicrobial peptides synthesized and secreted by bacteria and could potentially be used as natural food preservatives. Here, we report the production of bacteriocin-like inhibitor substances (Bt-BLIS) by five Mexican strains of Bacillus thuringiensis. Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. morrisoni (LBIT 269), B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki (LBIT 287), B. thuringiensis subsp kenyae (LBIT 404), B. thuringiensis subsp. entomocidus (LBIT 420) and B. thuringiensis subsp. tolworthi (LBIT 524) produced proteinaceous Bt-BLIS with high levels of activity against Bacillus cereus and other gram-positive bacteria. Although none was active against the gram-negative bacteria, Escherichia coli, Shigella species and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the five Bt-BLIS demonstrated antimicrobial activity against Vibrio cholerae, the etiologic agent of cholera. Biochemical and biophysical studies demonstrated that the five Bt-BLIS could be categorized into two groups, those produced by LBIT 269 and 287 (Group A) and LBIT 404, 420, 524 (Group B), based on relative time of peptide synthesis, distinctive bacterial target specificity and stability in a wide range of temperatures and pH. Because of their stability and bactericidal activities against B. cereus and V. cholerae agents of emetic, diarrheal and lethal syndromes in humans, these Bt-BLIS could potentially be used as biodegradable preservatives in the food industry.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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