Bacillus spp.

  • Douglas I. Johnson


  • Genomics:
    • Bacillus anthracis – chromosome, 5,227,293 bp; 5508 predicted ORFs (Read et al. 2003):
      • pOX1 plasmid: 181,677 bp; 217 predicted ORFs

      • pOX2 plasmid: 94,829 bp; 113 predicted ORFs

    • Bacillus cereus – chromosome: 5,426,909 bp; 5366 predicted ORFs (Ivanova et al. 2003)

  • Cell morphology:
    • Large, boxy rod-shaped cells; usually in single short chains or long chains (Fig. 1)

    • Endospore former; subterminal or central endospores that do not swell the cell

  • Gram stain:
    • Gram positive; older cells tend to stain Gram negative

  • Growth:
    • Obligate aerobes or facultative anaerobes; catalase positive.

    • Ubiquitous environmental pathogens found primarily in soil; also in water, dust, agricultural products, and invertebrates; primarily exist in endospore form.

    • Common laboratory contaminant.

    • Most species are highly motile (except Bacillus anthracis) with peritrichous flagella – involved in biofilm formation (B. cereus).

    • >300 species; most are rarely associated with human disease:
      • Two major human pathogens: B. anthracis and B. cereus


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas I. Johnson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology & Molecular GeneticsUniversity of VermontBurlingtonUSA

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