Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 97, Issue 4, pp 1601–1611 | Cite as

A novel strain of Brevibacillus laterosporus produces chitinases that contribute to its biocontrol potential

  • Lakshmi Prasanna
  • Vincent G. H. Eijsink
  • Richard Meadow
  • Sigrid Gåseidnes
Biotechnologically relevant enzymes and proteins


A novel strain exhibiting entomopathogenic and chitinolytic activity was isolated from mangrove marsh soil in India. The isolate was identified as Brevibacillus laterosporus by phenotypic characterization and 16S rRNA sequencing and designated Lak1210. When grown in the presence of colloidal chitin as the sole carbon source, the isolate produced extracellular chitinases. Chitinase activity was inhibited by allosamidin indicating that the enzymes belong to the family 18 chitinases. The chitinases were purified by ammonium sulfate precipitation followed by chitin affinity chromatography yielding chitinases and chitinase fragments with 90, 75, 70, 55, 45, and 25 kDa masses. Mass spectrometric analyses of tryptic fragments showed that these fragments belong to two distinct chitinases that are almost identical to two putative chitinases, a 89.6-kDa four-domain chitodextrinase and a 69.4-kDa two-domain enzyme called ChiA1, that are encoded on the recently sequenced genome of B. laterosporus LMG15441. The chitinase mixture showed two pH optima, at 6.0 and 8.0, and an optimum temperature of 70 °C. The enzymes exhibited antifungal activity against the phytopathogenic fungus Fusarium equiseti. Insect toxicity bioassays with larvae of diamondback moths (Plutella xylostella), showed that addition of chitinases reduced the time to reach 50 % mortality upon infection with non-induced B. laterosporus from 3.3 to 2.1 days. This study provides evidence for the presence of inducible, extracellular chitinolytic enzymes in B. laterosporus that contribute to the strain’s antifungal activity and insecticidal activity.


Brevibacillus laterosporus chitinase Diamondback moth Plutella xylostella 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lakshmi Prasanna
    • 1
  • Vincent G. H. Eijsink
    • 1
  • Richard Meadow
    • 2
  • Sigrid Gåseidnes
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food ScienceNorwegian University of Life SciencesÅsNorway
  2. 2.Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental ResearchPlant Health and Plant Protection DivisionÅsNorway

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