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1.  L-alanine-induced germination in Bacillus licheniformis -the impact of native gerA sequences 
BMC Microbiology  2014;14:101.
Background
L-alanine, acting through the GerA receptor, was recently found to be an efficient germinant in Bacillus licheniformis ATCC14580/DSM13.
Results
In this study, we show that several of 46 examined B. licheniformis strains germinate remarkably slower than the type strain when exposed to L-alanine. These strains are not necessarily closely related, as determined by MLST (multi-locus sequence typing). Three of the slow-germinating strains were further examined in order to see whether nucleotide substitutions in the gerA sequences were responsible for the slow L-alanine germination. This was performed by complementing the transformable type strain derivate MW3ΔgerAA with gerA variants from the three slow-germinating strains; NVH1032, NVH1112 and NVH800.
Conclusions
A wide selection of B. licheniformis strains was evaluated for L-alanine-induced germination efficiency. Our results show that gerA substitutions could only partially explain why spores of some B. licheniformis strains responded slower than others in the presence of L-alanine.
doi:10.1186/1471-2180-14-101
PMCID: PMC4021175  PMID: 24755193
Bacillus licheniformis; Germination; L-alanine; gerA; Genotype; Germinant receptor
2.  Genotyping of B. licheniformis based on a novel multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) scheme 
BMC Microbiology  2012;12:230.
Background
Bacillus licheniformis has for many years been used in the industrial production of enzymes, antibiotics and detergents. However, as a producer of dormant heat-resistant endospores B. licheniformis might contaminate semi-preserved foods. The aim of this study was to establish a robust and novel genotyping scheme for B. licheniformis in order to reveal the evolutionary history of 53 strains of this species. Furthermore, the genotyping scheme was also investigated for its use to detect food-contaminating strains.
Results
A multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) scheme, based on the sequence of six house-keeping genes (adk, ccpA, recF, rpoB, spo0A and sucC) of 53 B. licheniformis strains from different sources was established. The result of the MLST analysis supported previous findings of two different subgroups (lineages) within this species, named “A” and “B” Statistical analysis of the MLST data indicated a higher rate of recombination within group “A”. Food isolates were widely dispersed in the MLST tree and could not be distinguished from the other strains. However, the food contaminating strain B. licheniformis NVH1032, represented by a unique sequence type (ST8), was distantly related to all other strains.
Conclusions
In this study, a novel and robust genotyping scheme for B. licheniformis was established, separating the species into two subgroups. This scheme could be used for further studies of evolution and population genetics in B. licheniformis.
doi:10.1186/1471-2180-12-230
PMCID: PMC3492095  PMID: 23051848
3.  Role of the gerA operon in L-alanine germination of Bacillus licheniformis spores 
BMC Microbiology  2012;12:34.
Background
The genome of Bacillus licheniformis DSM 13 harbours three neighbouring open reading frames showing protein sequence similarities to the proteins encoded from the Bacillus subtilis subsp. subtilis 168 gerA operon, GerAA, GerAB and GerAC. In B. subtilis, these proteins are assumed to form a germinant receptor involved in spore germination induced by the amino acid L-alanine.
Results
In this study we show that disruption of the gerAA gene in B. licheniformis MW3 hamper L-alanine and casein hydrolysate-triggered spore germination, measured by absorbance at 600 nm and confirmed by phase contrast microscopy. This ability was restored by complementation with a plasmid-borne copy of the gerA locus. Addition of D-alanine in the casein hydrolysate germination assay abolished germination of both B. licheniformis MW3 and the complementation mutant. Germination of both B. licheniformis MW3 and the gerA disruption mutant was induced by the non-nutrient germinant Ca2+-Dipicolinic acid.
Conclusions
These results demonstrate that the B. licheniformis MW3 gerA locus is involved in germination induced by L-alanine and potentially other components present in casein hydrolysate.
doi:10.1186/1471-2180-12-34
PMCID: PMC3359204  PMID: 22420404

Results 1-3 (3)