Extracellular enzyme production and enterotoxigenic gene profiles of Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis strains isolated from cheese in Turkey
ABSTRACT The aim of the present study was to investigate the biochemical characteristics, extracellular enzyme production and enterotoxigenic genes contents of 6 Bacillus cereus and 22 Bacillusthuringiensis strains, isolated from 100 cheese samples in Turkey. Crystal morphologies of B. thuringiensis strains were found either spherical (n = 12) or spherical and irregular-shaped (n = 10) by phase contrast microscopy. B. cereus and B. thuringiensis strains were found to produce extracellular enzymes, respectively: gelatinase (83% and 91%), DNase (83% and 77%), lecithinase (83% and 95%), protease on skim milk agar (100% and 100%), protease on milk agar (100% and 91%), protease on casein agar (83% and 77%), xylanase (100% and 45%), and cellulase (0% and 41%), and amylase (83% and 27%). All of the strains, except for Bt-D1, hydrolyzed Tween 20 (96%), but not Tween 80 or tributyrin. Pectinolytic activity was obtained to be the least frequent (4%). PCR analysis showed that all strains contained nheA, nheB, nheC and hblD genes. The hblA and hblC genes were present in 2 and 4 of B. thuringiensis strains, respectively. The bceT gene was detected in 1 B. cereus and 9 B. thuringiensis strains. The entFM gene was detected more frequently in B. thuringiensis (82%) than in B. cereus strains (50%). To our knowledge, this is the first report about the isolation and identification of enterotoxigenic B. cereus and B. thuringiensis strains from cheese samples in Turkey.