Formation of Crystalline delta-Endotoxin or Poly-beta-Hydroxybutyric Acid Granules by Asporogenous Mutants of Bacillus thuringiensis.


Parental strains and asporogenous mutants of Bacillus thuringiensis subspp. kurstaki and aizawai produced high yields of delta-endotoxin on M medium, which contained 330 mug of potassium per ml, but not on ST and ST-a media, each of which contained only 11 mug of potassium per ml. On ST and ST-a media, refractile granules were formed instead. These granules had no insecticidal activity against silkworms and were isolated and identified as poly-beta-hydroxybutyric acid. Supplementation of the potassium-deficient ST-a medium with 0.1% KH(2)PO(4) (3.7 mM) led to the formation of crystalline delta-endotoxin. The replacement of KH(2)PO(4) with equimolar amounts of KCl, KNO(3), and potassium acetate or an equivalent amount of K(2)SO(4) had a similar effect, whereas the addition of an equimolar amount of NaH(2)PO(4) or NH(4)H(2)PO(4) did not cause the endotoxin to form. An asporogenous mutant, B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki strain 290-1, produced delta-endotoxin on ST-a medium supplemented with 3 mM or more potassium but formed only poly-beta-hydroxybutyric acid granules on the media containing </=1 mM potassium. These results clearly indicate that a certain concentration of potassium is essential for the fermentative production of delta-endotoxin by these isolates of B. thuringiensis. Manganese could not be substituted for potassium. Phosphate ions stimulated poly-beta-hydroxybutyric acid formation by strain 290-1. The sporulation of B. thuringiensis and several other Bacillus strains was suppressed on the potassium-deficient ST medium. This suggests that potassium plays an essential role not only in Bacillus cell growth and delta-endotoxin formation but also in sporulation.


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@article{Wakisaka1982FormationOC, title={Formation of Crystalline delta-Endotoxin or Poly-beta-Hydroxybutyric Acid Granules by Asporogenous Mutants of Bacillus thuringiensis.}, author={Yasushi Wakisaka and Eiko Masaki and Yoshiya Nishimoto}, journal={Applied and environmental microbiology}, year={1982}, volume={43 6}, pages={1473-80} }