Query: NC_006510:3321426 Geobacillus kaustophilus HTA426, complete genome Lineage: Geobacillus kaustophilus; Geobacillus; Bacillaceae; Bacillales; Firmicutes; Bacteria General Information: Geobacillus kaustophilus strain HTA426 was first isolated from deep sea sediment of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean and belongs to a closely related group of thermophilic Bacillus spp. Members of this genus were originally classified as Bacillus. Recent rDNA analysis and DNA-DNA hybridization studies using spore-forming thermophilic subsurface isolates provided enough evidence to define the phylogenetically distinct, physiologically and morphologically consistent taxon Geobacillus. Geobacillus species are chemo-organotrophic, obligately thermophilic, motile, spore-forming, aerobic or facultatively anaerobic. This organism was compared with mesophilic Bacillus spp. to identify genome characteristics and specific genes related to thermophilia. Analysis of the amino acid compositions showed clear differences between Geobacillus kaustophilus and the mesophilic bacilli. In addition, the higher G+C content in Geobacillus kaustophilus rRNA also appears correlated to thermophilia. In addition, tRNA modification by the Geobacillus kaustophilus specific tRNA methyltransferases probably aids in the thermoadaptation of this organism.
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General Information: This well studied laboratory strain (Porton isolate) is not virulent due to the loss of the two plasmids, pXO1 and pXO2. 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 was the first to be shown to cause disease by Dr. Louis Pasteur (the organism, isolated from sick animals, was grown in the laboratory and then used to infect healthy animals and make them sick). This organism was also the first for which an attenuated strain was developed as a vaccine. Herbivorous animals become infected with the organism when they ingest spores from the soil whereas humans become infected when they come into contact with a contaminated animal. PA/LF and PA/EF complexes are internalized by host cells where the LF (metalloprotease) and EF (calmodulin-dependent adenylate cyclase) components act. At high levels LF induces cell death and release of the bacterium while EF increases host susceptibility to infection and promotes fluid accumulation in the cells.