Bacillus Subtilis Soil

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Domain: Bacteria; Phylum: Firmicutes; Class: Bacilli; Order: Bacillales; family: Bacillaceae; Genus: Bacillus


NCBI: Taxonomy

Bacillus Subtilis

Habitat Information

Date: January 26, 2018

Temperature: 63° F

Recent rainfall: 0 inches

Air Pressure: 30.18

Solar Radiation: 1021.8

Address: 901 W. Ben White Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

Name of soil type from NRCS map: Austin silty clay, 2-4% slopes, eroded

Unit key from NRCS map: AsC2

Location description: Outside of South Austin Medical Center, grass area between hospital and James Casey Dr, 1.5" to 2" deep from soil. The area is heavily walked on and does not appear to have much maintenance given by lanscaping.

Description and Significance

Describe the appearance (colonial and cellular), possible antimicrobial activity etc. of the organism, and why the organism might be significant. The colonial appearance possesses a plaque color with no extracellular pigment. On a plate there is a plateu elevation and smooth margins. The colony has a bad smell to it. The colonies also form in a wide shape. The cellular appearance of the bacteria is rod-shaped and has a pinkish-blue color under a microscope. It is a motile organism. B. subtilis is gram positive and aerobic and catalase positive.

B. subtilis is significant because B. subtilis is considered to be the best Gram-positive bacterium ever studied and is a model organism in the study of bacterial chromosome replication and cell differentiation. It is also able to transform itself into a dormant state in order to survive extreme environments, allowing it to be the longest bacteria to survive in space; it survived six years on a NASA satellite.

Genome Structure

Describe the size and content of the genome. How many chromosomes? Circular or linear? Other interesting features? What is known about its sequence? Include S Ribosomal sequence that you obtained from PCR and sequencing here.

Cell Structure, Metabolism and Life Cycle

B. subtilis is a prokaryotic cell, lacking membrane-bound organelles. It is flagellated which allows for it's motility. It is able to become resistant to salt when it forms into a spore. B. subtilis is an aerobic bacteria but is able to grow in anaerobic conditions, and has an ideal temperature of growth at 30-39 degrees Celsius. B. subtilis is able to complete glycolysis and the TCA (tricarboxylic acid) cycle because of its aerobic cellular respiration.

It can ferment glucose, sucrose, but not lactose. B. subtilis can decarboxylate and ferment arginine. It tested negative for mannitol fermentation. It is unable to use citrate as a sole carb source. B. subtilis tested positive for oxidase, catalase and nitrate reduction. It can produce casease and amylase. However, it is unable to produce DNAse, lipase, adentinase, and it tested negative for urea hydrolysis.

The life cycle of B. subtilis consists of three different physiological processes; vegetative growth, sporulation and germination.


Physiology and Pathogenesis

Biochemical characteristics, enzymes made, other characteristics that may be used to identify the organism; contributions to environment (if any).
If relevant, how does this organism cause disease? Human, animal, plant hosts? Virulence factors, as well as patient symptoms.


[Sample reference] Takai, K., Sugai, A., Itoh, T., and Horikoshi, K. "Palaeococcus ferrophilus gen. nov., sp. nov., a barophilic, hyperthermophilic archaeon from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent chimney". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 2000. Volume 50. p. 489-500.


Page authored by _____, student of Prof. Kristine Hollingsworth at Austin Community College.