Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 76, Issue 5, pp 957–967

Bacillus megaterium—from simple soil bacterium to industrial protein production host

Authors

  • Patricia S. Vary
    • Department of Biological SciencesNorthern Illinois University
  • Rebekka Biedendieck
    • Institute of MicrobiologyTechnical University Braunschweig
  • Tobias Fuerch
    • Institute of Biochemical Engineering (TU-BCE)Technical University Braunschweig/Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research
  • Friedhelm Meinhardt
    • Institute for Molecular Microbiology and BiotechnologyWestfaelische Wilhelms-University Muenster
  • Manfred Rohde
    • Department of Microbial PathogenesisHelmholtz Centre for Infection Research
  • Wolf-Dieter Deckwer
    • Institute of Biochemical Engineering (TU-BCE)Technical University Braunschweig/Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research
    • Institute of MicrobiologyTechnical University Braunschweig
Mini-Review

DOI: 10.1007/s00253-007-1089-3

Cite this article as:
Vary, P.S., Biedendieck, R., Fuerch, T. et al. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol (2007) 76: 957. doi:10.1007/s00253-007-1089-3

Abstract

Bacillus megaterium has been industrially employed for more than 50 years, as it possesses some very useful and unusual enzymes and a high capacity for the production of exoenzymes. It is also a desirable cloning host for the production of intact proteins, as it does not possess external alkaline proteases and can stably maintain a variety of plasmid vectors. Genetic tools for this species include transducing phages and several hundred mutants covering the processes of biosynthesis, catabolism, division, sporulation, germination, antibiotic resistance, and recombination. The seven plasmids of B. megaterium strain QM B1551 contain several unusual metabolic genes that may be useful in bioremediation. Recently, several recombinant shuttle vectors carrying different strong inducible promoters and various combinations of affinity tags for simple protein purification have been constructed. Leader sequences-mediated export of affinity-tagged proteins into the growth medium was made possible. These plasmids are commercially available. For a broader application of B. megaterium in industry, sporulation and protease-deficient as well as UV-sensitive mutants were constructed. The genome sequence of two different strains, plasmidless DSM319 and QM B1551 carrying seven natural plasmids, is now available. These sequences allow for a systems biotechnology optimization of the production host B. megaterium. Altogether, a “toolbox” of hundreds of genetically characterized strains, genetic methods, vectors, hosts, and genomic sequences make B. megaterium an ideal organism for industrial, environmental, and experimental applications.

Keywords

Bacillus megateriumHigh level productionBiosafetyMetabolic flux analysisGenome sequencing

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007