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: Industrially important bacterium. 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 is a soil-dwelling endospore-forming microbe similar to other Bacilli. This bacterium is used extensively in the industrial production of important enzymes such as proteases, penicllinases, and amylases as well as smaller compounds like the antibiotic bacitracin and various organic metabolites. This organism is closely related to Bacillus subtilis on the basis of rRNA typing, and it has been found to occasionally cause illness in humans.