2008 Volume 54 Issue 3 Pages 159-166
Twenty-five Bacillus strains capable of producing γ-polyglutamic acid (PGA) were isolated from fermented locust bean products manufactured in the savanna area of Ghana. To clarify the phylogeny of these PGA-producing strains, phylogenetic analyses based on sequences of 16S rDNA, rpoB (RNA polymerase β-subunit) and fus (elongation factor G) genes were performed. A phylogenetic tree based on 16S rDNA indicated that ten isolates were clustered in the same group of Bacillus subtilis. Another ten isolates were located in the cluster of B. amyloliquefaciens, and the remaining isolates were identified as B. pumilus (three isolates) and B. licheniformis (two isolates), respectively. Phylogenetic trees based on the partial sequences of rpoB and fus genes were similar to the phylogeny based on 16S rDNA sequences. Thirty-four strains in 27 species belonging to the genus Bacillus and its neighbors were also investigated for PGA production. It was found that PGA was produced by B. amyloliquefaciens NBRC 14141 and NBRC 15535T, B. atrophaeus NBRC 15539T, B. licheniformis NBRC 12107, B. mojavensis NBRC 15718T, B. pumilus NBRC 12094, B. subtilis NBRC 16449, and Lysinibacillus sphaericus NBRC 3525. Except for L. sphaericus, the above Bacillus species are very closely related in phylogeny, indicating that PGA-producing Bacillus strains constitute a cluster.