Query: NC_009697:3711692 Clostridium botulinum A str. ATCC 19397 chromosome, complete Lineage: Clostridium botulinum; Clostridium; Clostridiaceae; Clostridiales; Firmicutes; Bacteria General Information: Clostridium botulinum A ATCC 19397 (NCTC 4587, NCTC 7272) is a stock, type A toxin-producing, laboratory strain of known toxicity. Produces botulinum, one of the most potent toxins known. This genus comprises about 150 metabolically diverse species of anaerobes that are ubiquitous in virtually all anoxic habitats where organic compounds are present, including soils, aquatic sediments and the intestinal tracts of animals and humans. This shape is attributed to the presence of endospores that develop under conditions unfavorable for vegetative growth and distend single cells terminally or sub-terminally. Spores germinate under conditions favorable for vegetative growth, such as anaerobiosis and presence of organic substrates. It is believed that present day Mollicutes (Eubacteria) have evolved regressively (i.e., by genome reduction) from gram-positive clostridia-like ancestors with a low GC content in DNA. This organism produces one of the most potent and deadly neurotoxins known, a botulinum toxin that prevents the release of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction, thereby inhibiting muscle contraction and causing paralysis. In most cases the diseased person dies of asphyxiation as a result of paralysis of chest muscles involved in breathing. The spores are heat-resistant and can survive in inadequately heated, prepared, or processed foods. Spores germinate under favorable conditions (anaerobiosis and substrate-rich environment) and bacteria start propagating very rapidly, producing the toxin. Botulinum toxin, and C. botulinum cells, has been found in a wide variety of foods, including canned ones. Almost any food that has a high pH (above 4.6) can support growth of the bacterium.
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General Information: Produces insect toxin. This organism, also known as BT, is famous for the production of an insecticidal toxin. The bacterium was initially discovered as a pathogen of various insects and was first used as an insecticidal agent in the early part of this century. This organism, like many other Bacilli, is found in the soil, where it leads a saprophytic existence, but becomes an opportunistic pathogen of insects when ingested. The specific activity of the toxin towards insects and its lack of toxicity to animals has made this organism a useful biocontrol agent. The delta-endotoxin, which is produced during the sporulation part of the life cycle, causes midgut paralysis and disruption of feeding by the infected insect host. The delta-endotoxin, which is produced during the sporulation part of the life cycle, causes midgut paralysis and disruption of feeding by the infected insect host. The delta-endotoxin, which is produced during the sporulation part of the life cycle, causes midgut paralysis and disruption of feeding by the infected insect host. The presence of a parasporal crystal, which is outside the exosporium of the endospore, is indicative of production of the toxin, and serves as a marker for this species.Activation of the toxin typically requires a high pH environment such as the alkaline environments in insect midguts followed by proteolysis. Various toxin genes specific for a variety of insects have been studied, and many are now being used in genetically modified plants which have been engineered to produce the toxin themselves, eliminating the need to produce sufficient amounts of B. thuringiensis spores.