Query: NC_012759:3648500 Escherichia coli BW2952 chromosome, complete genome Lineage: Escherichia coli; Escherichia; Enterobacteriaceae; Enterobacteriales; Proteobacteria; Bacteria General Information: This organism was named for its discoverer, Theodore Escherich, and is one of the premier model organisms used in the study of bacterial genetics, physiology, and biochemistry. This enteric organism is typically present in the lower intestine of humans, where it is the dominant facultative anaerobe present, but it is only one minor constituent of the complete intestinal microflora. E. coli, is capable of causing various diseases in its host, especially when they acquire virulence traits. E. coli can cause urinary tract infections, neonatal meningitis, and many different intestinal diseases, usually by attaching to the host cell and introducing toxins that disrupt normal cellular processes.
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General Information: This organism was first isolated from the soil in Vineland, New Jersey, although it is found worldwide. It is a large obligate aerobe that has one of the highest respiratory rates of any organism. Azotobacter vinelandii also produces a number of unusual nitrogenases which allow it to fix atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia, a compound it can then use as a nitrogen source. It protects the oxygen-sensitive nitrogenase enzymes through its high respiratory rate, which sequesters the nitrogenase complexes in an anoxic environment. This organism has a number of unusual characteristics. Under extreme environmental conditions, the cell will produce a cyst that is resistant to dessication and is surrounded by two capsular polysaccharide layers. This organism produces two industrially important polysaccharides, poly-beta-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) and alginate. PHB is a thermoplastic biopolymer, and alginate is used in the food industry. Alginate is also used by the pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa to infect the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients.