Bacillus subtilis has been widely used for the industrial production of useful proteins because of its high protein secretion ability and safety. We focused on genome reduction as a new concept for enhancing production of recombinant enzymes in B. subtilis cells based on detailed analysis of the genome mechanism. First, we reported that a novel B. subtilis strain, MGB874, depleted 20.7 % of the genomic sequence of the wild type by rationally designed deletions to create simplified cells for protein production. When compared with wild-type cells, the productivity of cellulase and protease from transformed plasmids harboring the corresponding genes was markedly enhanced. These results indicate that a bacterial factory specializing in the production of substances can be constructed by deleting the genomic regions unimportant for growth and substance production from B. subtilis. Second, deletion of the rocDEF-rocR region, which is involved in arginine degradation, was found to contribute to the improvement of enzyme production in strain MGB874. The present study indicated that our results demonstrated the effectiveness of a synthetic genomic approach with reduction of genome size to generate novel and useful bacteria for industrial uses. Furthermore, the design of the changes in the transcriptional regulatory network of the nitrogen metabolic pathway in B. subtilis cells could facilitate the generation of improved industrial protein production.
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