Bacillus strains have been widely used as the companion strain of Ketogulonigenium vulgare in the process of vitamin C fermentation. Different Bacillus strains generate different effects on the growth of K. vulgare and ultimately influence the productivity. First, we identified that Bacillus endophyticus Hbe603 was an appropriate strain to cooperate with K. vulgare and the product conversion rate exceeded 90% in industrial vitamin C fermentation. Here, we report the genome sequencing of the B. endophyticus Hbe603 industrial companion strain and speculate its possible advantage in the consortium. The circular chromosome of B. endophyticus Hbe603 has a size of 4.87 Mb with GC content of 36.64% and has the highest similarity with that of Bacillus megaterium among all the bacteria with complete genomes. By comparing the distribution of COGs with that of Bacillus thuringiensis, Bacillus cereus and B. megaterium, B. endophyticus has less genes related to cell envelope biogenesis and signal transduction mechanisms, and more genes related to carbohydrate transport and metabolism, energy production and conversion, as well as lipid transport and metabolism. Genome-based functional studies revealed the specific capability of B. endophyticus in sporulation, transcription regulation, environmental resistance, membrane transportation, extracellular proteins and nutrients synthesis, which would be beneficial for K. vulgare. In particular, B. endophyticus lacks the Rap-Phr signal cascade system and, in part, spore coat related proteins. In addition, it has specific pathways for vitamin B12 synthesis and sorbitol metabolism. The genome analysis of the industrial B. endophyticus will help us understand its cooperative mechanism in the K. vulgare-Bacillus strain consortium to improve the fermentation of vitamin C.
Jia, N., Du, J., Ding, M. Z., Gao, F., & Yuan, Y. J. (2015). Genome sequence of Bacillus endophyticus and analysis of its companion mechanism in the Ketogulonigenium vulgare-Bacillus strain consortium. PLoS ONE, 10(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0135104