Genome analysis of a Bacillus subtilis strain reveals genetic mutations determining biocontrol properties

Bettina Bóka, László Manczinger, Sándor Kocsubé, Kadaikunnan Shine, Naiyf S. Alharbi, Jamal M. Khaled, Martin Münsterkötter, Csaba Vágvölgyi, László Kredics

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Abstract: Several Bacillus strains are used as biocontrol agents, as they frequently have strong antagonistic effects against microbial plant pathogens. Bacillus strain SZMC 6179J, isolated from tomato rhizosphere, was previously shown to have excellent in vitro antagonistic properties against the most important fungal pathogens of tomato (Alternaria solani, Botrytis cinerea, Phytophthora infestans and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum) as well as several Fusarium species. Taxonomic investigations revealed that it is a member of the B. subtilis subsp. subtilis group and very closely related with the reference type strain B. subtilis subsp. subtilis 168. The sequenced genome of strain SZMC 6179J contains the genes responsible for the synthesis of the extracellular antibiotics surfactin, fengycin and bacilysin. Compared to strain 168, a prophage-like region is missing from the genome of SZMC 6179J, while there are 106 single nucleotide polymorphisms and 23 deletion-insertion polymorphisms. The high biocontrol potential of strain SZMC 6179J may results from a single base deletion in the sfp gene encoding the transcription factor of the surfactin and fengycin operons. Hypermutated regions reflecting short-time evolutionary processes could be detected in SZMC 6179J. The deletion-insertion polymorphism in the sfp gene and the detected hypermutations can be suggested as genetic determinants of biocontrol features in B. subtilis. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Article number52
JournalWorld Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2019



  • Bacillus subtilis
  • Biocontrol
  • Fengycin
  • Genome analysis
  • Hypermutation
  • Surfactin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Physiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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