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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2007 Feb;73(4):1107-13. Epub 2006 Dec 28.

Salivaricin A2 and the novel lantibiotic salivaricin B are encoded at adjacent loci on a 190-kilobase transmissible megaplasmid in the oral probiotic strain Streptococcus salivarius K12.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Otago, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand.


The commercial probiotic Streptococcus salivarius strain K12 is the prototype of those S. salivarius strains that are the most strongly inhibitory in a standardized test of streptococcal bacteriocin production and has been shown to produce the 2,368-Da salivaricin A2 (SalA2) and the 2,740-Da salivaricin B (SboB) lantibiotics. The previously uncharacterized SboB belongs to the type AII class of lantibiotic bacteriocins and is encoded by an eight-gene cluster. The genetic loci encoding SalA2 and SboB in strain K12 have been fully characterized and are localized to nearly adjacent sites on pSsal-K12, a 190-kb megaplasmid. Of 61 strongly inhibitory strains of S. salivarius, 19 (31%) were positive for the sboB structural gene. All but one (strain NR) of these 19 strains were also positive for salA2, and in each of these cases of double positivity, the two loci were separated by fewer than 10 kb. This is the first report of a single streptococcus strain producing two distinct lantibiotics.

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