Bacillus subtilis strains are known to produce a vast array of antimicrobial compounds. However, some compounds remain to be identified. Disk assays performed in vitro with Bacillus subtilis CU12 showed a significant reduction in mycelial growth of Alternaria solani, Botrytis cinerea, Fusarium sambucinum, and Pythium sulcatum. Crude B. subtilis culture filtrates were subsequently extracted with ethyl acetate and butanol. A bioassay guided purification procedure revealed the presence of one major antifungal compound in the butanol extract. Purification of the compound was performed using a reverse-phase C18 solid phase extraction (SPE) cartridge and flash column chromatography. NMR data showed that the main antimicrobial compound was a cyclic dimer of 3-hydroxypropionaldehyde (HPA). This study demonstrated the antimicrobial activity of B. subtilis strain CU12 against phytopathogenic microorganisms is mediated at least in part by the production of HPA. It also suggests that this B. subtilis strain could be effective at controlling pathogens through protection of its ecological niche by antibiosis.

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Keywords 3-hydroxypropionaldehyde, Antifungal compound, Bacillus subtilis, Ecological niche, Plant pathogens
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Journal Journal of Chemical Ecology
Wise, C., Novitsky, L., Tsopmo, A, & Avis, T. (2012). Production and Antimicrobial Activity of 3-Hydroxypropionaldehyde from Bacillus subtilis Strain CU12. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 38(12), 1521–1527. doi:10.1007/s10886-012-0219-2