, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 112-119

Fermentation and toxin studies of the molluscicidal strains ofBacillus brevis

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Strain SS86-4 was one of 40Bacillus brevis strains shown to be molluscicidal to the schistosomiasis snail vectorBiomphalaria glabrata. When grown in mB4 medium in 2-L fermentors, SS86-4 was molluscicidal only if fructose or phenylalanine was present in the medium. This is reminiscent of secondary fermentation factor effects, in this case an antioxidant effect. In vivo proteases also were capable of reducing molluscicidal activity. The molluscicidal toxin has an LC50 of 1 μg toxin protein ml−1 (approx. 1 p.p.m.) and may be described as a small proteinaceous, heat-stable, oxygen-sensitive entity associated with the particulate portion of the cell wall fraction ofB. brevis that is formed prior to sporulation. Initial information indicates that its HPLC signature shows major peaks at 148.37 and 163.96 s and consists of two bands of approximately 5.3 kDa and 8.7 kDa on PAGE gel.