Properties of different lactic acid bacteria isolated from Apis mellifera L. bee-gut

Microbiol Res. 2011 Jan 20;166(1):1-13. doi: 10.1016/j.micres.2010.01.003. Epub 2010 Jan 29.


Eight strains belonging to Lactobacillus spp. and five to Enterococcus spp. were isolated from the gut of worker Apis mellifera L. bees. Studies based on 16S rRNA sequencing revealed that AJ5, IG9, A15 and CRL1647 strains had a 99% identity with Lactobacillus johnsonii, while SM21 showed a 99% similarity with Enterococcus faecium. L. johnsonii CRL1647, AJ5 and IG9 were high lactic acid producers (values were between 177 and 275 mM), and in vitro they inhibited different human food-borne pathogens and Paenibacillus larvae, the American foulbrood agent. This bacterium was the most sensitive to the lactic acid effect being inhibited by 44 mM of this metabolite. L. johnsonii CRL1647, AJ5 and IG9 also presented important surface properties. These cells showed between 77% and 93% of auto-aggregation. The preliminary study of the chemical nature of the aggregating factors revealed that the molecules involved in the surface of each L. johnsonii strain were quite complex; and something of a peptidic nature was mainly involved. E. faecium SM21 produced bacteriocin-like compounds with anti-Listeria effects. Furthermore, a band close to 6.0-7.5 kDA was detected by SDS-PAGE studies, and the entA, B and P structural genes were amplified by PCR reactions. For the first time, bee-gut associated L. johnsonii and E. faecium strains have been isolated, identified, cultivated and some of their functional properties reported.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antibiosis
  • Bacteriocins / biosynthesis
  • Bacteriocins / pharmacology*
  • Bees / microbiology*
  • Biodiversity
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • Enterococcus / chemistry
  • Enterococcus / classification*
  • Enterococcus / genetics
  • Enterococcus / isolation & purification
  • Enterococcus / physiology*
  • Enterococcus faecium / genetics
  • Genotype
  • Intestines / microbiology
  • Lactic Acid / biosynthesis*
  • Lactobacillus / chemistry
  • Lactobacillus / classification*
  • Lactobacillus / genetics
  • Lactobacillus / isolation & purification
  • Lactobacillus / physiology*
  • Listeria / drug effects
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Paenibacillus / drug effects
  • Phenotype
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Surface Properties


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bacteriocins
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Lactic Acid