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AMB Express. 2017 Dec;7(1):78. doi: 10.1186/s13568-017-0381-6. Epub 2017 Apr 8.

Genomic and molecular characterization of a novel quorum sensing molecule in Bacillus licheniformis.

Author information

1
Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Westminster, London, UK. a.elhamshirazy@gmail.com.
2
GlaxoSmithKline, Worthing, West Sussex, UK.
3
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Westminster, London, UK.
4
Department of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK.
5
Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Westminster, London, UK.

Abstract

Quorum sensing molecules (QSMs) are involved in the regulation of complicated processes helping bacterial populations respond to changes in their cell-density. Although the QS gene cluster (comQXPA) has been identified in the genome sequence of some bacilli, the QS system B. licheniformis has not been investigated in detail, and its QSM (ComX pheromone) has not been identified. Given the importance of this antagonistic bacterium as an industrial workhorse, this study was aimed to elucidate B. licheniformis NCIMB-8874 QS. The results obtained from bioinformatics studies on the whole genome sequence of this strain confirmed the presence of essential quorum sensing-related genes. Although polymorphism was verified in three proteins of this cluster, ComQ, precursor-ComX and ComP, the transcription factor ComA was confirmed as the most conserved protein. The cell-cell communication of B. licheniformis NCIMB-8874 was investigated through further elucidation of the ComX pheromone as 13-amino acid peptide. The peptide sequence of the pheromone has been described through biochemical characterisation.

KEYWORDS:

Bacillus; Gene cloning; Genome sequencing; Peptide purification; Pheromone; Quorum sensing

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