Efficiency of Bacillus subtilis metabolism of sugar alcohols governs its probiotic effect against cariogenic Streptococcus mutans

Danielle Duanis-Assaf, Doron Steinberg, Moshe Shemesh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Bacillus subtilis is a Gram-positive probiotic bacterium that successfully colonises plant roots due to its ability to utilise various sugars. The vast probiotic potential of B. subtilis has been recently demonstrated in numerous host organisms under different environmental conditions. We examined the probiotic potential of B. subtilis against the pathogenic bacterium Streptococcus mutans, which is involved in various oral disorders due to its robust biofilm-forming capability. B. subtilis cells attenuated biofilm formation by S. mutans during their dual growth in the presence of sugar alcohols. Transcription of genes encoding key enzymes in the metabolism of sugar alcohols by B. subtilis were highly induced. Moreover, growth-curve analysis suggested that B. subtilis is more efficient at early utilising sugar alcohols than S. mutans, as supported by the bacterial metabolic activity rates. Similarly, a comparison of secondary metabolites of mono and mixed cultures of B. subtilis and S. mutans indicated that B. subtilis is more active metabolically in the dual culture. Finally, knock-out mutations of the genes encoding key enzymes in the central metabolic pathway significantly reduced B. subtilis' ability to mitigate biofilm formation by S. mutans. We conclude that effective metabolism of sugar alcohols by B. subtilis reinforces the probiotic potential of this bacterium against pathogenic species such as S. mutans.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1222-1230
Number of pages9
JournalArtificial Cells, Nanomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume48
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study forms part of Danielle Duanis-Assaf?s Ph.D. project. Danielle Duanis-Assaf is a recipient of Scholarship of Excellency for outstanding Ph.D. students from The ARO. We would like to thank Dr. Avin-Wittenburg and Ms. Hila Mizrahi from the Hebrew University for excellent assistance with GCMS measurements and analysis. The authors of the paper declare no competing interests.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Bacillus subtilis
  • Streptococcus mutans
  • biofilm
  • probiotic bacteria
  • sugar alcohols

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