Comparative genomics study reveals Red Sea Bacillus with characteristics associated with potential microbial cell factories (MCFs)

Ghofran K. Othoum, S. Prigent, A. Derouiche, L. Shi, Ameerah Bokhari, S. Alamoudi, Salim Bougouffa, Xin Gao, Robert Hoehndorf, Stefan T. Arold, Takashi Gojobori, Heribert Hirt, Feras Fawzi Lafi, J. Nielsen, Vladimir B. Bajic, I. Mijakovic, Magbubah Essack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Recent advancements in the use of microbial cells for scalable production of industrial enzymes encourage exploring new environments for efficient microbial cell factories (MCFs). Here, through a comparison study, ten newly sequenced Bacillus species, isolated from the Rabigh Harbor Lagoon on the Red Sea shoreline, were evaluated for their potential use as MCFs. Phylogenetic analysis of 40 representative genomes with phylogenetic relevance, including the ten Red Sea species, showed that the Red Sea species come from several colonization events and are not the result of a single colonization followed by speciation. Moreover, clustering reactions in reconstruct metabolic networks of these Bacillus species revealed that three metabolic clades do not fit the phylogenetic tree, a sign of convergent evolution of the metabolism of these species in response to special environmental adaptation. We further showed Red Sea strains Bacillus paralicheniformis (Bac48) and B. halosaccharovorans (Bac94) had twice as much secreted proteins than the model strain B. subtilis 168. Also, Bac94 was enriched with genes associated with the Tat and Sec protein secretion system and Bac48 has a hybrid PKS/NRPS cluster that is part of a horizontally transferred genomic region. These properties collectively hint towards the potential use of Red Sea Bacillus as efficient protein secreting microbial hosts, and that this characteristic of these strains may be a consequence of the unique ecological features of the isolation environment.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 17 2019


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