Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.103, No.12, 4789-4799, 2019
Improving the utilization rate of soybean meal for efficient production of bacitracin and heterologous proteins in the aprA-deficient strain of Bacillus licheniformis
Soybean meal is commonly applied as the raw material in the bio-fermentation industry, and bacitracin is a widely used feed additive in the feed industry. In this study, we investigated the influence of subtilisin enhancement on soybean meal utilization and bacitracin production in Bacillus licheniformis DW2, an industrial strain for bacitracin production. Firstly, blocking sRNA aprA expression benefited bacitracin synthesis, and the bacitracin yield produced by aprA-deficient strain DW2oPaprA reached 931.43 U/mL, 18.92% higher than that of DW2 (783.25 U/mL). The bacitracin yield was reduced by 14.27% in the aprA overexpression strain. Furthermore, our results showed that deficiency of aprA led to a 6.54-fold increase of the aprE transcriptional level and a 1.84-fold increase of subtilisin activity, respectively, which led to the increases of soybean meal utilization rate (28.86%) and precursor amino acid supplies for bacitracin synthesis. Additionally, strengthening the utilization rate of soybean meal also benefited heterologous protein production, and the -amylase and nattokinase activities were respectively enhanced by 59.81% and 50.53% in aprA-deficient strains. Collectively, this research demonstrated that strengthening subtilisin production could improve the utilization rate of soybean meal and thereby enhance bacitracin and target protein production; also, this strategy would be useful for the improvement of protein/peptide production using soybean meal as the main nitrogen source in the fermentation process.