Comparative genomics and metabolomics analyses of the adaptation mechanism in Ketogulonicigenium vulgare-Bacillus thuringiensis consortium

Sci Rep. 2017 Apr 25;7:46759. doi: 10.1038/srep46759.


Adaptive evolution by serial subcultivation of co-cultured Bacillus thuringiensis and Ketogulonicigenium vulgare significantly enhanced the productivity of 2-keto-L-gulonic acid in two-step vitamin C production. The adaptation mechanism in K. vulgare-B. thuringiensis consortium was investigated in this study based on comparative genomics and metabolomics studies. It was found that the growth, anti-oxidation, transcription and regulation were significantly enhanced in the adapted consortium. The mutation of the genes, which encode amidohydrolase in adapted K. vulgare (K150) and amino acid permease in adapted B. thuringiensis (B150), resulted in the increase of some amino acids levels in each species, and further enhanced the metabolic exchange and growth ability of the two species. Besides, the mutation of the gene encoding spore germination protein enhanced the metabolic levels of tricarboxylic acid cycle, and decreased the sporulation in B150, which induced its growth. The mutation of the genes, which encode NADPH nitroreductase in K150 and NADPH-dependent FMN reductase in B150, may enhance the ability of anti-oxidation. Overall, the long-term adaptation of K. vulgare and B. thuringiensis influenced the global regulation and made them more inseparable in metabolite exchange. Our work will provide ideas for the molecular design and optimization in microbial consortium.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Ascorbic Acid / metabolism
  • Bacillus thuringiensis / genetics
  • Bacillus thuringiensis / metabolism
  • Bacillus thuringiensis / physiology*
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Genomics / methods*
  • Metabolome*
  • Microbial Consortia
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Rhodobacteraceae / genetics
  • Rhodobacteraceae / metabolism
  • Rhodobacteraceae / physiology*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Ascorbic Acid