A rod-shaped bacterium found in Denmark produces important anti-fungal compounds

Thursday 05 Sep 19
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Ákos T. Kovács
Professor
DTU Bioengineering
+45 45 25 25 27

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Ling Ding
Associate Professor
DTU Bioengineering
CeMiSt researchers looking for answers on the function of microbial secondary metabolites in natural microbial communities, found a bacterial strain with a lot of potential.

The bacterium, Bacillus velezensis found at DTU produces a combination of two small chemicals called lipopeptides, which inhibit the growth of different harmful fungi. In particular, the strain B. velezensis can inhibit the human pathogen Candida albicans and its biofilms. This isolate also inhibits the apple-infecting fungus Penicillium expansum. Genome analysis of different Bacillus species revealed that these features of B. velezensis are partly explained by the presence of secondary metabolite gene clusters encoding for the synthesis apparatus of the compounds. The CeMiSt research team demonstrated that the capacity of the bacterium to fight fungal pathogens is related to the presence of lipopeptides. The work included chemical detection methods, genetic analysis of the bacterial strain and traditional microbiological techniques and biofilm assays to reveal these features. The study highlights how CeMiSt stimulates interdisciplinary collaborations resulting in exploitable findings.

Photo credits to Ákos T. Kovács

Reference

Depiction of secondary metabolites and antifungal activity of Bacillus velezensis DTU001. Devi S, Kiesewalter HT, Kovács R, Frisvad JC, Weber T, Larsen TO, Kovács ÁT*, Ding L*. Synthetic and Systems Biotechnology (2019)



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