Higher Order Taxa:
Domain: Bacteria Phylum: Firmicutes Class: Bacilli Order: Bacillales Family: Bacillaceae Genus: Bacillus Species: Bacillus anthracis (Cohn 1872)
Description and significance
There are currently 6 sequencing projects in progress and 5 complete genomes for the Bacillus anthracis bacteria. The complete genome sequence was first obtained using whole-genome shotgun sequencing.
Bacillus anthracis has one chromosome and its genome is 5.5 Mb in size. The chromosome contains 5,227,419 base pairs. Its virulence factors are encoded on two plasmids, pXO1 (anthrax toxin, 181,677-bp) and pXO2 (capsule genes, 94,830-bp).
Description and Significance
Bacillus Anthracis is a rod shaped bacteria with a width of 1-1.2 um and a length of 3-5 um. It is gram positive and is able to form spores. These spores are highly resistant and are able to sustain drastic changes in temperature, low nutrient environment, and harsh chemicals over decades to centuries. This bacteria is pathogenic and is associated with the disease Anthrax. Anthrax is mostly obtained by livestock, such as cattle, goats and sheep. This is because the bacteria in the soil often form spores, which last for many years. Then an animal comes along, grazing on the grass where the spore is located and ingests the spore. Once in the body, the spore germinates and begins to grow and divide. Humans can obtain three different types of anthrax, intestional anthrax, cutaneous anthrax, and inhalation anthrax.