Query: NC_006322:4149500 Bacillus licheniformis ATCC 14580, complete genome Lineage: Bacillus licheniformis; Bacillus; Bacillaceae; Bacillales; Firmicutes; Bacteria General Information: Industrially important bacterium. Under starvation conditions this group of bacteria initiate a pathway that leads to endospore formation, a process that is thoroughly studied and is a model system for prokaryotic development and differentiation. Spores are highly resistant to heat, cold, dessication, radiation, and disinfectants, and enable the organism to persist in otherwise inhospitable environments. Under more inviting conditions the spores germinate to produce vegetative cells. This organism is a soil-dwelling endospore-forming microbe similar to other Bacilli. This bacterium is used extensively in the industrial production of important enzymes such as proteases, penicllinases, and amylases as well as smaller compounds like the antibiotic bacitracin and various organic metabolites. This organism is closely related to Bacillus subtilis on the basis of rRNA typing, and it has been found to occasionally cause illness in humans.
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General Information: This red-pigmented organism's name means "strange berry that withstands radiation", marking the fact that this organism is one of the most radiation-resistant known. It can tolerate radiation levels at 1000 times the levels that would kill a human and it was originally isolated in 1956 from a can of meat that had been irradiated with X-rays. The resistance to radiation may reflect its resistance to dessication, which also causes DNA damage. This organism may be of use in cleaning up toxic metals found at nuclear weapons production sites due to the radiation resistance. This bacterium is also a highly efficient transformer, and can readily take up exogenous DNA from the environment, which may also aid DNA repair. This organism carries multiple copies of many DNA repair genes, suggesting a robust system for dealing with DNA damage. The recombination system may rely on multiple copies of various repeat elements found throughout the genome.