Query: NC_020244:3856526 Bacillus subtilis XF-1, complete genome Lineage: Bacillus subtilis; Bacillus; Bacillaceae; Bacillales; Firmicutes; Bacteria General Information: This organism was one of the first bacteria studied, and was named Vibrio subtilis in 1835 and renamed Bacillus subtilis in 1872. It is one of the most well characterized bacterial organisms, and is a model system for cell differentiation and development. This soil bacterium can divide asymmetrically, producing an endospore that is resistant to environmental factors such as heat, acid, and salt, and which can persist in the environment for long periods of time. The endospore is formed at times of nutritional stress, allowing the organism to persist in the environment until conditions become favorable. Prior to the decision to produce the spore the bacterium might become motile, through the production of flagella, and also take up DNA from the environment through the competence system. The sporulation process is complex and involves the coordinated regulation of hundreds of genes in the genome. This initial step results in the coordinated asymmetric cellular division and endospore formation through multiple stages that produces a single spore from the mother cell.
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General Information: This strain is one of the first vancomycin-resistant strains isolated. This isolate came from a blood culture derived from a chronically-infected patient in 1987 from Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. This strain was found to lack the cytolysin gene and a surface adhesin, Esp, that contributes to urinary tract infections. Mobile genetic elements make up one quarter of the genome. This genera consists of organisms typically found in the intestines of mammals, although through fecal contamination they can appear in sewage, soil, and water. They cause a number of infections that are becoming increasingly a problem due to the number of antibiotic resistance mechanisms these organisms have picked up. Both Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium cause similar diseases in humans, and are mainly distinguished by their metabolic capabilities. This opportunistic pathogen can cause urinary tract infections, bacteremia (bacteria in the blood), and infective endocarditis (inflammation of the membrane surrounding the heart), similar to infections caused by Enterococcus faecium. Hospital-acquired infections from this organism are on the rise due to the emergence of antiobiotic resistance strains. Enterococcus faecalis produces a cytolysin toxin that is encoded on various mobile genetic elements, pathogenicity islands, and conjugative plasmids. The cytolysin aids in pathogenesis, possibly by causing destruction of cells such as erythrocytes, which allows access to new nutrients for the organism.