Amicoumacin antibiotic production and genetic diversity of Bacillus subtilis strains isolated from different habitats

Irina V. Pinchuka, Philippe Bressollierb, Irina B. Sorokulovaa, Bernard Verneuilb and Maria C. Urdaci
a , ,a

Laboratoire de Microbiologie et Biochimie Appliquée, ENITA de Bordeaux, 1, cours Laboratoire de Génie Enzymatique et Biovalorisation, IUT, Dept. Génie Biologique

du Général de Gaulle, BP 201, 33175, Gradignan, France
b

F-87065, allée André Maurois, Limoges, France Received 2 April 2001; accepted 30 March 2002 First published online 14 May 2002 Available online 14 May 2002.

Abstract
One of the most interesting groups of phenolic compounds is comprised of the low molecular weight phenylpropanol derivative substances named isocoumarins, which possess important biological activities. In this study, the isocoumarin production and genetic diversity of 51 Bacillus strains isolated from different geographical and ecological niches were studied. Using molecular identification techniques, 47 strains were identified as B. subtilis, three as B. licheniformis and one as B. pumilus. When these strains were screened for isocumarin production, 11 belonging to the species B. subtilis produced amicoumacins, antibiotics of the isocoumarin group. RAPD analysis demonstrated that these strains fell into two groups which contained only these amicoumacin producers. No association was detected between RAPD profiles and the geographic origin or habitat of the strains tested. In conclusion, production of amicoumacin antibiotics by B. subtilis is a common characteristic of individual strains that presented genetic and physiological homogeneity.

Author Keywords: Bacillus subtilis; Antibiotics; Amicoumacins; Isocoumarins; RAPD

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