, Volume 76, Issue 5, pp 957-967
Date: 26 Jul 2007

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

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

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.