Liao L, Cheng Y, Liu S, Zhou J, An S, Lv M, et al. (2014) Production of Novel Antibiotics Zeamines through Optimizing Dickeya zeae Fermentation Conditions. PLoS ONE 9(12): e116047. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0116047
Dickeya zeae strain EC1 was recently shown to produce a new type of phytotoxins designated as zeamine and zeamine II, which are potent wide-spectrum antibiotics against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial pathogens, suggesting their promising potential as clinical medicines. In this study, the optimized medium composition and culture conditions for biosynthesis of novel antibiotics zeamines have been established by using response surface methodology, largely increasing the yield of zeamines from original about 7.35 µg·mL−1 in minimal medium to about 150 µg·mL−1 in LS5 medium. The study identified the major factors contributing to zeamines production, which include nitrate, sucrose, asparaginate, mineral elements Mg2+ and K+, and optimized amount of phosphate. In addition, the results showed that overexpression of zmsK in D. zeae strain EC1 could further increase zeamines yield to about 180 µg·mL−1 in LS5 medium. The findings from this study could facilitate further characterization and utilization of these two novel antibiotics, and also provide useful clues for understanding the regulatory mechanisms that govern D. zeae virulence.