Query: NC_008497:32160 Lactobacillus brevis ATCC 367, complete genome Lineage: Lactobacillus brevis; Lactobacillus; Lactobacillaceae; Lactobacillales; Firmicutes; Bacteria General Information: Lactic acid bacterium used in fermentation. They are commonly found in the oral, vaginal, and intestinal regions of many animals. They are important industrial microbes that contribute to the production of cheese, yogurt, fermented milks, and other products, all stemming from the production of lactic acid, which inhibits the growth of other organisms as well as lowering the pH of the food product. Industrial production requires the use of starter cultures, which are carefully created, cultivated, and maintained, which produce specific end products during fermentation that impart flavor to the final product, as well as contributing important metabolic reactions, such as the breakdown of milk proteins during cheese production. The end product of fermentation, lactic acid, is also being used as a starter molecule for complex organic molecule syntheses. This organism is used as a starter culture for various types of beer, sourdough, and silage fermentation.
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General Information: This strain carries the anthrax toxin plasmid pXO1 but not the capsule plasmid pXO2 and is therefore avirulent but toxigenic. It is the counterpart to the Pasteur strain that carries pXO2 but not pXO1. This strain is often used for vaccine development. 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.