Characterization and identification of weissellicin Y and weissellicin M, novel bacteriocins produced by Weissella hellenica QU 13

Y. Masuda, T. Zendo, N. Sawa, R. H. Perez, J. Nakayama, K. Sonomoto

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Aims: To identify and characterize novel bacteriocins from Weissella hellenica QU 13. Methods and Results: Weissella hellenica QU 13, isolated from a barrel used to make Japanese pickles, produced two novel bacteriocins termed weissellicin Y and weissellicin M. The primary structures of weissellicins Y and M were determined, and their molecular masses were determined to be 4925·12 and 4968·40Da, respectively. Analysis of the DNA sequence encoding the bacteriocins revealed that they were synthesized and secreted without N-terminal extensions such as leader sequences or sec signal peptides. Weissellicin M showed significantly high and characteristic homology with enterocins L50A and L50B, produced by Enterococcus faecium L50, while weissellicin Y showed no homology with any other known bacteriocins. Both bacteriocins showed broad antimicrobial spectra, with especially high antimicrobial activity against species, which contaminate pickles, such as Bacillus coagulans, and weissellicin M showed relatively higher activity than weissellicin Y. Furthermore, the stability of weissellicin M against pH and heat was distinctively higher than that of weissellicin Y. Conclusions: Weissella hellenica QU 13 produced two novel leaderless bacteriocins, weissellicin Y and weissellicin M, and weissellicin M exhibited remarkable potency that could be employed by pickle-producing industry. Significance and Impact of the Study:  This study is the first report, which represents a complete identification and characterization of novel leaderless bacteriocins from Weissella genus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-108
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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