Autoinducer-2 (AI-2) is a quorum-sensing (QS) molecule which mediates interspecies signaling and affects various bacterial behaviors in food fermentation. Biosynthesis of AI-2 is controlled by S-ribosylhomocysteine lyase encoded by the luxS gene. The objective of this study was to investigate production of AI-2 by aerobic endospore-forming bacteria (AEB) isolated from the West African alkaline fermented seed products Mantchoua and Maari. The study included 13 AEB strains of Bacillus subtilis, B. cereus, B. altitudinis, B. amyloliquefaciens, B. licheniformis, B. aryabhattai, B. safensis, Lysinibacillus macroides and Paenibacillus polymyxa. All the tested strains harbored the luxS gene and all strains except for P. polymyxa B314 were able to produce AI-2 during incubation in laboratory medium. Production of AI-2 by AEB was growth phase dependent, showing maximum activity at the late exponential phase. AI-2 was depleted from the culture medium at the beginning of the stationary growth phase, indicating that the tested AEB possess a functional AI-2 receptor that internalizes AI-2. This study provides the evidences of QS system in Bacillus spp. and L. macroides and new knowledge of AI-2 production by AEB. This knowledge contributes to the development of QS-based strategies for better control of alkaline fermentation.
Keywords: Lsr system; alkaline fermentations; luxS gene; quorum sensing.
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