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A Novel Weissella cibaria Strain UTNGt21O Isolated from Wild Solanum quitoense Fruit: Genome Sequence and Characterization of a Peptide with Highly Inhibitory Potential toward Gram-Negative Bacteria.

  • Tenea, Gabriela N1
  • Hurtado, Pamela1
  • Ortega, Clara1
  • 1 Biofood and Nutraceutics Research and Development Group, Faculty of Engineering in Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Technical University of the North, Av. 17 de Julio s-21 Barrio El Olivo, 100150 Ibarra, Ecuador. , (Ecuador)
Published Article
Publication Date
Sep 05, 2020
DOI: 10.3390/foods9091242
PMID: 32899506


A novel Weissella cibaria strain UTNGt21O from the fruit of the Solanum quitoense (naranjilla) shrub produces a peptide that inhibits the growth of both Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica ATCC51741 and Escherichia coli ATCC25922 at different stages. A total of 31 contigs were assembled, with a total length of 1,924,087 bases, 20 contig hits match the core genome of different groups within Weissella, while for 11 contigs no match was found in the database. The GT content was 39.53% and the genome repeats sequences constitute around 186,760 bases of the assembly. The UTNGt21O matches the W. cibaria genome with 83% identity and no gaps (0). The sequencing data were deposited in the NCBI Database (BioProject accessions: PRJNA639289). The antibacterial activity and interaction mechanism of the peptide UTNGt21O on target bacteria were investigated by analyzing the growth, integrity, and morphology of the bacterial cells following treatment with different concentrations (1×, 1.5× and 2× MIC) of the peptide applied alone or in combination with chelating agent ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) at 20 mM. The results indicated a bacteriolytic effect at both early and late target growth at 3 h of incubation and total cell death at 6 h when EDTA was co-inoculated with the peptide. Based on BAGEL 4 (Bacteriocin Genome Mining Tool) a putative bacteriocin having 33.4% sequence similarity to enterolysin A was detected within the contig 12. The interaction between the peptide UTNGt21O and the target strains caused permeability in a dose-, time- response manner, with Salmonella (3200 AU/mL) more susceptible than E. coli (6400 AU/mL). The results indicated that UTNGt21O may damage the integrity of the cell target, leading to release of cytoplasmic components followed by cell death. Differences in membrane shape changes in target cells treated with different doses of peptide were observed by transmission electronic microscopy (TEM). Spheroplasts with spherical shapes were detected in Salmonella while larger shaped spheroplasts with thicker and deformed membranes along with filamentous cells were observed in E. coli upon the treatment with the UTNGt21O peptide. These results indicate the promising potential of the putative bacteriocin released by the novel W. cibaria strain UTNGt21O to be further tested as a new antimicrobial substance.

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