The study of mycolytic properties of aerobic spore-forming bacteria producing extracellular chitinases

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The mycolytic activity of 27 strains of antagonistic bacilli belonging to two taxonomic groups (18 strains of Bacillus subtilis and 9 strains of Paenibacillus ehimensis) capable of induced synthesis of chitinolytic enzymes was studied. Most of the B. subtilis strains neither displayed visible mycolytic effects on the phytopathogenic fungus Bipolaris sorokiniana in vitro, nor produced chitinases in the presence of an autoclaved mycelium. On the contrary, P. ehimensis strains grown under conditions favorable for induction of chitinases and other hydrolases exhibited a pronounced lytic effect on B. sorokiniana and actively grew by utilizing mycelium as the sole source of carbon and nitrogen. Comparison of the mycolytic activities of extracellular hydrolases in the studied strains demonstrated low correlation between chitinase production and the ability of the strains to degrade the cell walls of B. sorokiniana. Characterization of enzyme profiles in the studied strains revealed that β-1,3-glucanase was a more significant factor than chitinase for determining the mycolytic potential of bacteria and their ability to utilize the mycelium of phytopathogenic fungi as a growth substrate.

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