Lysogeny and sporulation in Bacillus isolates from the Gulf of Mexico

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2010 Feb;76(3):829-42. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01710-09. Epub 2009 Dec 11.


Eleven Bacillus isolates from the surface and subsurface waters of the Gulf of Mexico were examined for their capacity to sporulate and harbor prophages. Occurrence of sporulation in each isolate was assessed through decoyinine induction, and putative lysogens were identified by prophage induction by mitomycin C treatment. No obvious correlation between ability to sporulate and prophage induction was found. Four strains that contained inducible virus-like particles (VLPs) were shown to sporulate. Four strains did not produce spores upon induction by decoyinine but contained inducible VLPs. Two of the strains did not produce virus-like particles or sporulate significantly upon induction. Isolate B14905 had a high level of virus-like particle production and a high occurrence of sporulation and was further examined by genomic sequencing in an attempt to shed light on the relationship between sporulation and lysogeny. In silico analysis of the B14905 genome revealed four prophage-like regions, one of which was independently sequenced from a mitomycin C-induced lysate. Based on PCR and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis of an induced phage lysate, one is a noninducible phage remnant, one may be a defective phage-like bacteriocin, and two were inducible prophages. One of the inducible phages contained four putative transcriptional regulators, one of which was a SinR-like regulator that may be involved in the regulation of host sporulation. Isolates that both possess the capacity to sporulate and contain temperate phage may be well adapted for survival in the oligotrophic ocean.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus / genetics
  • Bacillus / physiology*
  • Bacillus / virology
  • Bacillus Phages / drug effects
  • Bacillus Phages / genetics*
  • Bacillus Phages / physiology
  • Bacillus anthracis / drug effects
  • Bacillus anthracis / genetics
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • Genome, Bacterial
  • Genome, Viral
  • Integrases / genetics
  • Lysogeny* / drug effects
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Mitomycin / pharmacology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oceans and Seas
  • Prophages / drug effects
  • Prophages / genetics
  • Prophages / physiology
  • Seawater / microbiology*
  • Spores, Bacterial / drug effects
  • Spores, Bacterial / genetics
  • Viral Proteins / genetics
  • Virus Activation / drug effects
  • Virus Activation / genetics
  • Virus Activation / physiology
  • Virus Integration / drug effects
  • Virus Replication / drug effects
  • Virus Replication / genetics


  • DNA, Viral
  • Viral Proteins
  • Mitomycin
  • Integrases

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AAXV00000000