Bacillus mycoides

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Bacillus mycoides


Higher Order Taxa: Bacteria; Firmicutes; Bacilli; Bacillales; Bacillaceae, Bacillus Species: Bacillus mycoides

Description and Significance

Bacillus mycoides is a gram-positive, non-motile, spore forming bacteria that creates rhizoid colonies (1). It is found in soil worldwide (5). B. mycoides isolate, BmJ, has been used in a foliar spray preparation as a fungicide for disease prevention in plants (4). BmJ has demonstrated disease control potential when applied to sugar beets, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and pecans and can control growth of fungal pathogens, Phythium in ornamental plants and Botrytis gray mold in tomatoes. In addition, the BmJ preparation also shows potential for direct virus control (4). B. mycoides has also been shown to be a pathogen in channel catfish causing lesions and muscle necrosis (3).

Biochemical characteristics (1)

Catalase positive Amylase positive Nitrate reduction positive Oxidase negative Indole negative Mannitol negative

Related Bacterial Species

B. mycoides is very closely related to B. anthracis, B, cereus, and B. thuringiensis. Ribosomal DNA(rDNA) sequence similarity measured by 16S rDNA analysis is >99.4%, and DNA-DNA reassociation studies did not definitively separate the species (2). Additionally, restriction fragment length polymorphism of rRNA genes is very similar and so is analysis of intergenic spacers (2). Differentiation is very important because B. anthracis produces anthrax and B. thuringiensis produces the BT toxin. Looking for anthrax plasmids, the crystal protein toxin associated with BT, and at the characteristic rhizoid, non-motile B. mycoides colonies can differentiate the bacteria (2).


1. Bacillus Mycoides. (n.d.). Retrieved April 27, 2016, from

2. Friedrich von Wintzingerode, Frederick A. Rainey, Reiner M. Kroppenstedt, Erko Stackebrandt, Identification of environmental strains of Bacillus mycoides by fatty acid analysis and species-specific 16S rDNA oligonucleotide probe, FEMS Microbiology Ecology, Volume 24, Issue 3, November 1997, Pages 201-209, ISSN 0168-6496, (

3. Goodwin, A.E., J.S. Roy, J.M. Grizzte & M.T. Goldsby. 1994. Bacillus mycoides: a bacterial pathogen of channel catfish. Dis. Aquat. Organ., 18: 173-179. 4. Jacobsen B.J., C. Bradley, N. Zidack, T. Brenneman, J Miller, J Washington, C. Mellinger 2007. Commercialization of Bacillus mycoides isolate BmJ as a broad spectrum biological plant disease control agent. Phytopathology 97:S50

5. Variation in the Morphology of Bacillus mycoides Due to Applied Force and Substrate Structure. Stratford JP, Woodley MA, Park S (2013) Variation in the Morphology of Bacillus mycoides Due to Applied Force and Substrate Structure. PLoS ONE 8(12): e81549. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0081549