The spore surface of intestinal isolates of Bacillus subtilis

FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2014 Sep;358(2):194-201. doi: 10.1111/1574-6968.12538. Epub 2014 Aug 12.


Bacillus subtilis has been used for over 50 years as a model organism for biochemistry, genetic, molecular biology and cell biology studies. More recently, its spore has been proposed as a platform to display heterologous proteins and as a vehicle for mucosal vaccination. We characterize here the spore surface of four human intestinal strains of B. subtilis, previously identified as able to grow anaerobically and form biofilm. These properties, lost in laboratory strains, are relevant for the colonization of human mucosal sites and likely to improve the efficiency of strains to be used for mucosal delivery. Our characterization is an essential preliminary step for the development of these intestinal strains as display systems and has indicated that spores of at least one of them are more efficient than the laboratory strain for the non-recombinant display of two model heterologous proteins.

Keywords: heterologous expression; spore adsorption; surface display.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus subtilis / isolation & purification*
  • DNA, Bacterial / chemistry
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Humans
  • Intestines / microbiology*
  • Membrane Proteins / analysis*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Spores, Bacterial / isolation & purification*
  • Surface Properties*


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Membrane Proteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/KJ921799
  • GENBANK/KJ921800
  • GENBANK/KJ921801
  • GENBANK/KJ921802