2007 Volume 53 Issue 6 Pages 315-323
Natto-like fermented soybean products are manufactured and consumed in many Asian countries. In this study, we isolated thirty-four Bacillus strains capable of producing γ-polyglutamic acid (PGA) from natto in mountainous areas of South Asia and Southeast Asia and from soils in Japan. To elucidate the phylogeny of these PGA-producing strains, phylogenetic trees based on sequences of 16S rDNA, housekeeping genes of rpoB (RNA polymerase β-subunit) and fus (elongation factor G) were constructed. A phylogenetic tree based on 16S rDNA sequences showed that twenty-one isolates were clustered in the same group of B. subtilis. The other thirteen isolates were located in the cluster of B. amyloliquefaciens. Phylogenetic trees based on the partial sequences of rpoB and fus genes were similar to the phylogeny based on 16S rDNA sequences. The results of the present study indicate that PGA-producing strains isolated from local natto in Asian countries and soil in Japan can be divided into two species, B. subtilis and B. amyloliquefaciens.