Improvement of Bacilysin Production in Bacillus subtilis by CRISPR/Cas9-Mediated Editing of the 5'-Untranslated Region of the bac Operon

Abdulmalek H. W., Karataş A.

Journal of microbiology and biotechnology, vol.33, no.3, pp.410-418, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 33 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.4014/jmb.2209.09035
  • Journal Name: Journal of microbiology and biotechnology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, EMBASE, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.410-418
  • Keywords: Bacillus subtilis, bacilysin, bacABCDEF, ribosome binding site, CRISPR, Cas9
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Bacilysin is a dipeptide antibiotic composed of L-alanine and L-anticapsin produced by certain strains of Bacillus subtilis. Bacilysin is gaining increasing attention in industrial agriculture and pharmaceutical industries due to its potent antagonistic effects on various bacterial, fungal, and algal pathogens. However, its use in industrial applications is hindered by its low production in the native producer. The biosynthesis of bacilysin is mainly based on the bacABCDEF operon. Examination of the sequence surrounding the upstream of the bac operon did not reveal a clear, strong ribosome binding site (RBS). Therefore, in this study, we aimed to investigate the impact of RBS as a potential route to improve bacilysin production. For this, the 5' untranslated region (5'UTR) of the bac operon was edited using the CRISPR/Cas9 approach by introducing a strong ribosome binding sequence carrying the canonical Shine-Dalgarno sequence (TAAGGAGG) with an 8 nt spacing from the AUG start codon. Strong RBS substitution resulted in a 2.87-fold increase in bacilysin production without affecting growth. Strong RBS substitution also improved the mRNA stability of the bac operon. All these data revealed that extensive RBS engineering is a promising key option for enhancing bacilysin production in its native producers.