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                                                    SOIL PROJECT


Domain: Bacteria; Phylum: Firmicutes; Class: Bacilli; Order Bacillales; Family: Bacillaceae; Genus Bacillus; Species: Bacillus Pumilus


NCBI: Taxonomy

Genus species

Habitat Information

This soil organism was collected at the residence of 6804 Shier Cove in Austin, Texas. The soil was very dense and rough, about 1"-2" inches in depth. It resides in soils and some colonize in the root area of some plants where B.Pumilus has antibacterial and anti-fungal activity. Some purposes of B.Pumilus that are being researched are its involvement in bacterial hay preservation, and the use of B. pumilus plasmids in gene transfer systems. The proteases from B.pumilus are used in various industries. Food,chemical,detergent, and leather industries can benefit from the proteases from B.pumilus. The useof the plasmids from B.pumilus and insertion of other plasmids to the bacteria aide in various industries, and as anti-microbials and anti-fungals.

Description and Significance

Bacillus pumillus is a spore-forming bacteria that is rod-shaped, Gram positive, and aerobic.

Genome Structure

B. pumilus has one circular chromosome and have a varying length from 3.7 to 3.8 Mbp. Strains SAFR-031 and ATCC 7061 are 3,704,465 and 3,833,998 base pairs respectively. About 41% of the DNA base pairs are GC. The circular chromosome contains around 4000 genes and 3600-3900 proteins. Rolling-circle replication is the method used by most B. pumilus plasmids. Assimilation of plasmids is useful because of the potential to be used in gene transfer systems.

Cell Structure, Metabolism and Life Cycle

B.pumilus is a Gram Positive, Rod shaped Bacteria, the outer layer of Peptidoglicon is covered by acids containing Polyglycosyl phosphates and dissacharides that help adhesion to host cells. These phosphate groups also can provide a negative charge on cell surface allowing capture of essential cations necessary for cell survival. There are three stages in the B.pumilus life cycle, Sporangium, vegetative cell, or free spore. Sporangia is where a spore is hanging out waiting for the right condition. In the vegetative the cell will undergo germination from a free spore when the conditions are right such as temperature and timing.

Physiology and Pathogenesis

It is rare for B.pumillus to make humans sick, but occasionally can cause damage to epithelial cells and cause food poisoning which then causes stomache cramps, back pain, diarrhea. B. Pumillus has also been known to cause lesions. B.Pumlilus is catalase and oxidase positive. Also is amylase, protease, lipase positive.


Page authored by Tammy Carter, Melissa Watt_____, student of Prof. Kristine Hollingsworth at Austin Community College.