Isolation and identification of two Serratia marcescens strains from silkworm, Bombyx mori

Abstract

Bacterial septicemia commonly occurs and usually cause huge losses in sericulture industry. Here, two pathogenic bacterial strains were isolated from dead silkworm and named as ZJ-1 and ZJ-2. Phenotypic and genotypic analysis results revealed that both of these two strains are closely related to Serratia marcescens (S. marcescens). The morphological as well as physiological and biochemical characteristics of ZJ-1 were accordant with S. marcescens mentioned in Bergey’s manual of determinative bacteriology, whereas ZJ-2 showed some discrepancies such as the utilization of malonate and starch, fermentation of maltose and sucrose, and tests of urease, etc. Surprisingly, ZJ-2 could produce red pigment at high temperature (37°) but ZJ-1 could not. Besides, by analyzing the lethal concentration 50 (LC50) of ZJ-1 and ZJ-2, it was found that the virulence of ZJ-2 was lower than that of ZJ-1. These results revealed that ZJ-1 and ZJ-2 were two different strains of S. marcescens and that ZJ-2 was expected to be a safe (low-toxicity) and efficient strain for the production of red pigment. Nonetheless, further research in molecular level is needed to understand the regulation mechanism of pigment production and infection of ZJ-2.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20160364) and the earmarked fund for the China Agriculture Research System (CARS-18). We are grateful to all who provided the means for us to access free software, which we have used and cited in this article. We thank all partners and lab members for kindly help and criticism.

Authors’ contributions

Zhongyuan Shen contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection and analysis were performed by Yiling Zhang, Ruisha Shang, Jiao Zhang, Junhao Li, Guanyu Zhu, Mingshuai Yao, and Jiancheng Sun. The first draft of the manuscript was written by Yiling Zhang and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Zhang, Y., Shang, R., Zhang, J. et al. Isolation and identification of two Serratia marcescens strains from silkworm, Bombyx mori. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10482-020-01442-1

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Keywords

  • Silkworm
  • Serratia marcescens
  • Septicemia
  • Pigment