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J Mol Microbiol Biotechnol. 2009;16(1-2):14-24. doi: 10.1159/000142891. Epub 2008 Oct 29.

More than anticipated - production of antibiotics and other secondary metabolites by Bacillus amyloliquefaciens FZB42.

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Institut für Biologie/Bakteriengenetik, Humboldt-Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


The genome of environmental Bacillus amyloliquefaciens FZB42 harbors numerous gene clusters involved in synthesis of antifungal and antibacterial acting secondary metabolites. Five gene clusters, srf, bmy, fen, nrs, dhb, covering altogether 137 kb, direct non-ribosomal synthesis of the cyclic lipopeptides surfactin, bacillomycin, fengycin, an unknown peptide, and the iron siderophore bacillibactin. Bacillomycin and fengycin were shown to act against phytopathogenic fungi in a synergistic manner. Three gene clusters, mln, bae, and dif, with a total length of 199 kb were shown to direct synthesis of the antibacterial acting polyketides macrolactin, bacillaene, and difficidin. Both, non-ribosomal synthesis of cyclic lipopeptides and synthesis of polyketides are dependent on the presence of a functional sfp gene product, 4'-phosphopantetheinyl transferase, as evidenced by knockout mutation of the sfp gene resulting in complete absence of all those eight compounds. In addition, here we present evidence that a gene cluster encoding enzymes involved in synthesis and export of the antibacterial acting dipeptide bacilysin is also functional in FZB42. In summary, environmental FZB42 devoted about 340 kb, corresponding to 8.5% of its total genetic capacity, to synthesis of secondary metabolites useful to cope with other competing microorganisms present in the plant rhizosphere.

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