Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.105, No.14-15, 5719-5737, 2021
The "beauty in the beast"-the multiple uses of Priestia megaterium in biotechnology
Over 30 years, the Gram-positive bacterium Priestia megaterium (previously known as Bacillus megaterium) was systematically developed for biotechnological applications ranging from the production of small molecules like vitamin B-12, over polymers like polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) up to the in vivo and in vitro synthesis of multiple proteins and finally whole-cell applications. Here we describe the use of the natural vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) producer P. megaterium for the elucidation of the biosynthetic pathway and the subsequent systematic knowledge-based development for production purposes. The formation of PHB, a natural product of P. megaterium and potential petro-plastic substitute, is covered and discussed. Further important biotechnological characteristics of P. megaterium for recombinant protein production including high protein secretion capacity and simple cultivation on value-added carbon sources are outlined. This includes the advanced system with almost 30 commercially available expression vectors for the intracellular and extracellular production of recombinant proteins at the g/L scale. We also revealed a novel P. megaterium transcription-translation system as a complementary and versatile biotechnological tool kit. As an impressive biotechnology application, the formation of various cytochrome P450 is also critically highlighted. Finally, whole cellular applications in plant protection are completing the overall picture of P. megaterium as a versatile giant cell factory.