Inter-strain and inter-species inhibition mediated by a bacteriocin-like inhibitory substance (BLIS) from a pathogenic Vibrio harveyi strain VIB 571 was demonstrated against four isolates of the same species, and one culture each of a Vibrio sp., Vibrio fischeri, Vibrio gazogenes and Vibrio parahaemolyticus. The crude BLIS, which was obtained by ammonium-sulphate precipitation of the cell-free supernatant of a 72 h broth culture of strain VIB 571, was inactivated by lipase, proteinase K, pepsin, trypsin, pronase E, SDS and incubation at = 60 °C for 10 min. The activity was stable between pH 2-11 for at least 5 h. Anion-exchange chromatography, gel filtration, SDS-PAGE and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis revealed the presence of a single major peak, comprising a protein with a pl of ~5.4 and a molecular mass of ~32 kDa. The N-terminal amino acid sequence of the protein comprised Asp-Glu-Tyr-lle-Ser-X-Asn-Lys-X-Ser-Ser-Ala-Asp-lle (with X representing cysteine or modified amino acid residues). A similarity search based on the matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) generated peptide masses and the N-terminal sequence did not yield any significant matches. © 2005 SGM.