The Genus Geobacillus

  • Niall A. Logan
Reference work entry


Bacillus stearothermophilus was established in 1920, and many isolates of thermophilic, aerobic endosporeformers were subsequently allocated to it, so that the species became heterogeneous. Between the 1960s and the 1980s various phenotypic techniques demonstrated this heterogeneity, and new thermophilic species were proposed, but as late as the first edition of Bergey’s Manual of Systematic Bacteriology, the authors were unable to take the taxonomy of the B. stearothermophilus group any further, in the absence of sufficient data. With the increasing availability of molecular analyses, several novel species were described, and in 2001 the genus Geobacillus was proposed to accommodate B. stearothermophilus and its relatives. Some other thermophilic Bacillus species were subsequently transferred to the new genus. However, this expansion of Geobacillus, to 17 species, left the type species, G. stearothermophilus, without a modern description based upon a polyphasic taxonomic study. Also, the taxonomic positions of several other species were unclear and other taxa awaited validation. Polyphasic taxonomic studies published in 2011 and 2012 countered the continuing expansion of the genus by showing that a substantial number of species were synonymous and by transferring some other species to Anoxybacillus and the new genus Caldibacillus. The genus Geobacillus now comprises 11 species: G. stearothermophilus, G. caldoxylosilyticus, G. jurassicus, G. subterraneus, G. thermantarcticus, G. thermocatenulatus, G. thermodenitrificans, G. thermoglucosidans, G. thermoleovorans, G. toebii, and G. uzenensis. This article summarizes the taxonomic history of the genus and outlines the habitats, isolation, and properties of its species.


Thermophilic Bacillus Emended Description Geobacillus Thermoleovorans Geobacillus Thermodenitrificans Polyphasic Taxonomic Study 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Life SciencesGlasgow Caledonian UniversityGlasgowScotland, UK

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