Antibiotic resistance necessitates the search for new bioactive compounds with novel mechanisms of action. Natural products derived from bacteria and fungi are widely used in the field of medicine and new environments can be explored as sources of antimicrobials. Bacteria associated with springtails have shown high inhibitory activity against pathogens. Here, we characterized a bacterial strain with high potential for antimicrobial activity, isolated from the gut of the springtail Folsomia candida Willem (Collembola: Isotomidae). The strain was characterized using the ‘analytical profile index’ and the ‘minimal inhibitory concentration’ assay to test for antibiotic resistance. Agar overlay and agar disk diffusion assays were used to test the inhibitory activity of the strain and its extract against a variety of pathogens, and reporter assays were used to investigate the mode of action. High-performance liquid chromatography was used to analyze and fractionate the extract of bacterial culture, followed by additional assays on the fractions. The genome of the strain was screened for presence of antibiotic resistance genes and secondary metabolite gene clusters. The isolate was identified as Bacillus toyonensis Jiménez et al., but it displayed differences in metabolic profile when compared to the type species. The isolate was highly resistant to penicillin and inhibited the growth of a variety of pathogenic microorganisms. Genome analysis revealed an enrichment of resistance genes for β-lactam antibiotics compared to the type isolate. Also, secondary metabolite clusters involved in the production of siderophores, bacteriocins, and nonribosomal peptide synthetases were identified. In conclusion, a unique Bacillus strain was isolated from the gut of F. candida, for which we provide evidence of inhibitory activity against an array of pathogens. This, coupled with high resistance to penicillin as substantiated by the presence of resistance genes, points to the potential of B. toyonensis VU-DES13 to provide a new source of antimicrobial compounds.
Bibliographical noteSpecial Issue: Symbionts in Insect Biology and Pest Control
- antibiotic resistance
- colonization resistance