Brevibacillus laterosporus isolated from the digestive tract of honeybees has high antimicrobial activity and promotes growth and productivity of honeybee’s colonies

Journal Article
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Abstract The development of novel antimicrobial drugs, as well as the discovery of novel compounds able to promote honeybee’s growth, represents major challenges for modern entomology. The main aim of this study was to investigate whether Brevibacillus laterosporus isolated from the digestive tract of Saudi honeybees, Apis mellifera, was able to stimulate colony strength parameters of honeybees and to evaluate its ability to produce antimicrobial agents. Honeybees were col- lected in Dirab, Riyadh Region, Saudi Arabia, and microor- ganisms were isolated and identified by 16S ribosomal RNA analysis. Microscopic identification of the microorganism in its native state was facilitated by atomic force microscopy at high-resolution imaging. Active biological compounds were produced by submerged fermentation with B. laterosporus.
The fermented broth was subjected to extraction and purifica- tion, and then semi-pure compounds were analyzed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. The effectiveness of the crude extract and semi-pure compounds as antimicrobial agents was evaluated by susceptibility assays. More than 22% of the microorganisms isolated from the digestive tract of healthy honeybees have been identified as B. laterosporus, this kind of species has a unique shape and morphological structure. The cyclic dipeptide cyclo(Leu-Pro) produced by
B. laterosporus showed biological activity against several pathogenic microorganisms. Furthermore, the total counts of workers, closed brood, and open brood, as well as the produc- tion of bee pollen and honey, were better in honeybees treated with a B. laterosporus suspension. The data indicated that theB. laterosporus strain isolated from a healthy honeybee might be a novel probiotic and a producer of important biological compounds.