Effect of Nicotine on the Sporulation and Growth of Bacillus subtilis

Nicotine is the addictive chemical in tobacco and smokers experience greater infections and illnesses. Bacillus subtilis (BS) is considered a probiotic spore forming bacteria, which is present in the human body. Sporulation is a resilient life stage that allows the bacteria to endure unfavorable conditions and germinate during better conditions. The objective of this study is to observe the effect of nicotine and sucrose on the sporulation rate of BS. Bacteria grown in the presence of varying concentrations of nicotine ranging from 1x10-15 M to 1x10-1 M in TSB was examined for sporulation and growth at 24, 48 and 72 hours. BS grown in the absence of nicotine in TSB did not form spores at 24, 48 and 72 hours, while the TSB with nicotine had a significantly higher amount of spores at all nicotine concentrations at 48 and 72 hours. The growth of the BS was not affected by the presence of nicotine in TSB. Sucrose was also added in ranging concentrations from 1x10-4 M to 1 M. Sucrose was found to significantly suppress the amount of sporulation of BS in the presence and in the absence of nicotine at 72 hours (p<0.05). The current findings indicate that nicotine induces greater sporulation of BS, which could reduce the beneficial effect of the presence of BS in the body as probiotic bacteria. the two media will require further investigations.