A novel antifungal property for the Bacillus licheniformis ComX pheromone and its possible role in inter-kingdom cross-talk
Quorum sensing molecules (QSMs) regulate, through a chemical communication process, multiple complex systems in bacterial and some fungal populations on the basis of cell density. The bacterial QSMs involved in inter-kingdom cross-talk may exhibit antagonistic activity against fungi. This provides an important opportunity for biocontrol of fungal invasion in plants. It has been shown that cultures of Bacillus spp. inhibit fungal growth. Here, we explore the inhibitory potential of the industrial workhorse Bacillus licheniformis NCIMB-8874 and its QSM (ComX pheromone) on the growth of Aspergillus flavus, a cereal, legume, and nut crop pathogen. Our studies show that ComX filtered extracts from cultures of B. licheniformis can cause a significant reduction in the growth of A. flavus NRRL 3357 and ESP 15 at a concentration as low as 13 μg ml−1. This work evidences, for the first time, the inter-kingdom utility of the bacterial quorum sensing ComX pheromone indicating potential antifungal food security against A. flavus.
KeywordsQuorum sensing molecule Bacillus Aspergillus Natural antifungal Fungal colony area Inter-kingdom communication
We thank the laboratory staff member of the Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Westminster, for all the supports. We also thank Dr. Pamela Greenwell for valuable discussions.
This work was part of a PhD project and supported by University of Westminster and the expenses were covered by the department of life sciences.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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