29+Bacillus Bacteria Examples: Detailed explanation


In this article we are summarizing the details and examples of different bacillus bacteria examples.

Bacillus are the bacteria that resembles the shape of a “stick”, they belong to the Gram-positive bacterial genus which comes under “Bacilli” a class of the bacteria. In certain cases, they may turn into Gram- negative bacterial nature as they grow.  Here are some bacillus bacteria examples.

Following are the Examples of Bacillus species:

  1. Bacillus acidicola
  2. Bacillus acidocaldarius
  3. Bacillus aeolius
  4. Bacillus aerius
  5. Bacillus agaradhaerens
  6. Bacillus akibai
  7. Bacillus albus
  8. Bacillus alcalophilus
  9. Bacillus akalidiazotrophicus
  10. Bacillus alkalisediminis
  11. Bacillus altitudinis
  12. Bacillus alvei
  13. Bacillus amyloliquefaciens
  14. Bacillus anthracis
  15. Bacillus asahii
  16. Bacillus atrophaeus
  17. Bacillus badius
  18. Bacillus barbaricus
  19. Bacillus borstelensis
  20. Bacillus brevis
  21. Bacillus chagannorensis
  22. Bacillus choshinensis
  23. Bacillus chungangensis
  24. Bacillus circulans
  25. Bacillus clarkii
  26. Bacillus clausii
  27. Bacillus coagulans
  28. Bacillus coahuilensis
  29. Bacillus composti
  30. Bacillus cycloheptanicus
  31. Bacillus cytotoxicus
  32. Bacillus daliensis

Bacillus acidicola:

B. acidicola is a novel bacterial strain 105-2(T). It was isolated from an acidic Sphagnum peat bog in Wisconsin, USA. It is a spore forming, mesophilic and acidophilic bacterium. Based on phenotypic, chemotaxonomic and molecular analyses it has been proposed as a novel Bacillus species.

Bacillus acidocaldarius:

They grow in the temperature ranging from 45-70o and pH range of 2.0-6.0. B. acidocaldarius are gram positive, acidophilic, thermophilic and endospore producing bacteria. Strains of A. acidocaldarius were first isolated from geysers in Yellowstone National Park and Fumarole soil in Hawaii Volcano National Park, U.S.

Bacillus aeolius:

B. aeolius is another novel bacillus species isolated from the water of a shallow hot spring at Volcano Island, Italy. It is a spore forming strain 4-1T which is aerobic, halophilic and thermophilic. This strain possesses crucial biotechnological properties like;

  • Exopolysaccharide production.
  • Surfactant activity and Utilization of hydrocarbons, which makes it a useful potential bacterium for industrial usage.

Bacillus aerius:

It is a novel strain 24KT which was first isolated from cryogenic tubes that are used to collect samples from higher altitudes. It grows at temperatures between 8-37 °C and a pH range 6-10. They are resistant to UV radiation and produces acid from a range of substrates by utilizing sugar, amino acids and carbon sources.

Bacillus agaradhaerens

Salipaludibacillus agaradhaerens were first found in hyperalkaline springs at Philippines. These are endospore forming, Gram positive alkaliphilic and alkali tolerant bacterium. These bacterial strains are the important source of commercial enzymes such as; proteases, amylases, xylanases, and cellulases.

Bacillus akibai

These are found in various alkaline rich environments as they are well adapted to alkaline conditions. These bacteria produce industrially useful enzymes, like, protease, cyclomaltodextrin, glucanotransferase, amylases, hemicellulose and cellulase.

Bacillus albus:

It was first isolated from marine sponge of St. Martin’s Island of Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh. These are spore forming gram positive, facultative anaerobes. Strains of Bacillus albus SMG-1 and B has been used as probiotics for the effective farming of white shrimp. A strain of B. albus JK-XZ3 which was discovered in China has been identified as a biological control agent against Agrobacterium tumefaciens, which causes crown gall in cherry saplings.

Bacillus alcalophilus

Alkalihalobacillus alcalophilus are found in highly alkaline wastewaters, soils, and animal manures. They are Gram positive, endo-spore forming, cylindrical, moderate halotolerant, obligate alkaliphile which grows at 40 °C and at pH 9-10.5. These are the group of industrially important microbes and possess the ability to maintain the ecosystem.

Bacillus alkalidiazotrophicus:

This bacterium belongs to the genus Anaerobacillus. It is strictly anaerobic, diazotrophic, spore forming bacterium found in soil. Strain MS6T is an obligate alkaliphile, grows in the pH range between 7.5 – 10.6. It has been proposed to be a novel strain of B. alkalidiazotrophicus based on the phenotypic and genetic comparisons.

Bacillus alkalisediminis:

B. alkalisediminis is a novel species, a strain of this is K1-25(T). It is an alkaliphilic and moderately halophilic found in the sediments of extremely shallow areas. It is a gram positive, non-motile endospore forming bacterium which shows an optimal growth at pH 9.0.

Bacillus altitudinis

Strain of this bacterium is 41KF2bT first retrieved from cryogenic vials which are used for air sample collection from higher altitudes. B. altitudinis is an endophytic bacterium that uses several different molecular mechanisms to accelerate growth of several plant species such as Glyceria chinensis, Arabidopsis thaliana, Nicotiana tabacum, Corn, Soyabean.

They promote plant growth by influencing the function of phytohormones (Auxin, cytokinin   gibberellins, ethylene, abscisic acid), and enhance nutrient uptake, fix atmospheric nitrogen. B. altitudinis has also been identified to be a pathogen which was first reported in China in the year 2019 and 2020. They reported that the bacterium caused seed rot of pomegranate.

Bacillus alvei

It is a gram-positive motile cylindrical bacterium found in soil and water. Other habitats of this bacterium include gut of honeybee larvae, milk, mosquito larvae and wax moth.Paenibacillus alvei are pathogens that grows in a novel branched pattern.  The optimum temperature range for their growth is 34-37 °C and a pH around 5.2.

They have been reported to cause American foulbrood, a bacterial infection in honey bees by producing a toxin called “Alveoylsin”. P. alvei acts as a secondary infector and a parasite in European Foulbrood with other species like, Brevibacillus lacterosporus, Bacillus pumilus, Achromobacter Euridice and P. dendritiformis.

This microbe has been found in clinal samples taken from Humans and proved to be causing infections in humans for example, urinary tract infection in chronic kidney infection P. alvei has also gained significance due to its antimicrobial efficacy against food-borne pathogens and tomato bacterial phytopathogens, that made it a possible biofertilizer.

Bacillus amyloliquefaciens

B. amyloliquefaciens is of a great significance for both the Humans as well as the environment. It is a rod like, gram positive bacterium found in soil all over the world and in dried foods. B. amyloliquefaciens has been known to produce two soluble proteins called Barnase and barstar. Barnase is a ribonuclease which is specifically inhibited by barstar. They have been used extensively to study protein unfolding and refolding.

B. amyloliquefaciens is one of the industrially important species, two of its strains, namely GBo3 and FZB42 are used in commercial formulations for promoting growth in plants. B. amyloliquefaciens has been genetically modified to make an efficient expression system for the production of industrial enzymes such as, thermostable α-amylase, β-glucanase as well as some homologous and heterologous proteins.

Bacillus anthracis

It is an obligate pathogen that causes anthrax in livestock and sometimes in Humans. The type of infection it causes is termed as zoonosis which means infection is transmissible from animals to humans. It is a cylindrical, gram positive, endospore forming bacterium first discovered by Robert Koch in 1876.

Bacillus asahii

These are gram positive, rod like, peritrichous flagella containing spore forming bacterium found in soil. They grow at pH range 6 to 9 and temperature between 15 to 45 °C.  They have been known to remove the foul smell generated from short chain fatty acids, ammonia, indole and trimethylene present in the animal faeces.  

Bacillus atrophaeus

A strain type is NRRL NRS-213 which is aerobic, spore forming, gram-positive, rod like black-pigmented bacteria. Because of its high resistance towards physical and chemical factors this bacterium holds potential biotechnological applications such as, biological indicators for sterilization, disinfection agent, a potential adjuvant.   

Used for the production of antimicrobial compounds like, bacteriocin subtilosin A. B. atrophaeus C89 produce bioactive compounds like neobacillamide A and bacillamide C, isolated from marine sponges. It has the ability to produce biosurfactant proteins that are used as detergents and emulsifiers. It is a potential source of restriction endonucleases and Glycosylation inhibitor nojirimycin.

It has been used in nanobiotechnology for the delivery of biomolecules and drug delivery system. B. atrophaeus CAB-1 has been used as a biocontrol agent and for promoting growth of plants. It shows inhibitory action against fungal pathogens and used to suppress cucumber powdery mildew and tomato grey mold. B. atrophaeus UCMB-5137 grows in rhizosphere and inhibit fungal, phytopathogens, stimulate plant growth and the overall resistance of the plants.              

Bacillus badius

They are spore forming, aerobic, gram-positive bacterium found in human intestines and figs. They have the ability to produce restriction enzymes and penicillin G acylase. A strain type of Bacillus badius NBPM-2993 is having plant growth promoting factors and grows in association with the roots of plants. Bacillus badius has shown to be an effective bacterium for the biosorption of lead deposited in the environment due to various industrial activities.

Bacillus barbaricus

Fictibacillus barbarous has been isolated from a wall painting in Austria. These are gram positive, cylindrical. Endospore forming bacteria. They are found in different environmental niches like, industrial waste, metal ores, fresh water, hot springs, metal ores, marine sediments and soil.

Bacillus borstelensis

It belongs to the genus Brevibacillus. It is rod like, gram positive, oxygen requiring, endospore forming bacterium. Strain type 707 is thermophilic and has the ability to degrade and use polyethylene under appropriate conditions. This organism has been shown to have the ability to degrade fungicide carbendazim and inert polyethylene.

Strain sh178 has been shown to enhance the decomposition rates from food wastes to biofertilizers. BCS-1 strain is involved in the production of pharmaceuticals products, food additives, insecticides, agrochemicals and synthetic sweeteners. AK1 strain for the degradation of plastic degradation.

Bacillus brevis

It is cylindrical, gram positive, aerobic, flagella containing bacterium. Common sources are decaying matter, soil, water, air. It is known to produce antibiotics such as gramicidin, tyrocidine and an enzyme called β-cyclodextrin glucanotransferase that catalyzes the degradation, conversion and cyclization of starch into β-cyclodextrin. Optimum growth temperature ranges in between 35 °C to 55 °C.

Bacillus chagannorensis:

It is gram positive, endospore forming, moderately halophilic, motile bacterium. They are facultatively anaerobes, isolated from lake. They grow 5.8 to 11.0 pH and 6-40 °C temperature. The type strain is CG-15(T).

They are of great significance in industrial field due to their ability to produce different enzymes including; barnase, alpha amylase, protease subtilisin, and BamH1 restriction enzymes. They have been known to play an important role in ecological field where they are used as an insecticide. It is also known to be a pathogen causing various infections like, ear infections, urinary infections, meningitis, septicemia and many others.

Bacillus choshinensis

They are found in soil, grows in the presence of NaCl at 50 °C and 5.5 to 9.0 pH. It has been genetically modified to produce heterologous proteins such as, cellulase, metalloproteinase and VHH antibody. It is a non-pathogenic bacterium which has been used for fermentation in food industry.

Bacillus chungangensis

It is designated as CAU 348T and is a gram positive, aerobic, endospore forming, halophilic motile bacterium. They are found in different salt habitats such as, salterns, estuarine water, salt lakes, salty foods, sea ice and deep-sea hydrothermal vents. The optimum temperature for growth is 4 to 45 °C and 4.5 to 9.0 pH.

Bacillus circulans

It is gram positive, rode-like, endospore producing, motile containing peritrichous flagella. Sources are soil, sewage, food, infant bile, gut of bee larvae. It is known to be a pathogen that causes sepsis in immunocompromised patients. B. circulans strain RIGLD BCI is used to produce secondary metabolites including antibiotics. They are facultative anaerobes, grows at 30 to 37 °C and 7.0 pH.

Bacillus clarkii

It is endospore forming, facultative anaerobic, gram positive, alkali-tolerant, alkaliphilic, endospore forming bacterium. A strain Bacillus clarkii 7364 has the ability to produce huge quantities of gamma cyclodextrin, it is alkaliphilic bacterium found in soil.

Bacillus clausii:

It is a gram positive, cylindrical, spore forming, non-pathogenic, oxygen requiring bacterium which is able to survive in acidic environments. It has been known for its use in the treatment and prevention of Diarrhea.

It is capable of surviving through the acidic environment in stomach and colonize in intestine even in the presence of antibiotics. Bacillus clausii has been proven to be effective to prevent recurrent respiratory infections (RRI) in kids. It is commercially available in small ready to drink bottles that is being used in a wide range to treat problems like flatulence and irregular bowl movements.

Bacillus coagulans

bacillus bacteria examples
B. coagulans from Wikimedia

It is known to produce lactic acid and is similar to lactobacillus and other probiotics. It is a spore forming bacterium with the ability to withstand high temperatures. It shows anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects. It is naturally found in intestine, and in curd and was first isolated from spoiled milk. It is being widely consumed by people to treat irritable bowl syndrome, diarrhea, gastric issues, respiratory infections and several others.

It is gram positive, non-pathogenic, spore forming facultative anaerobe. It is being used in food industries as a probiotic in its spore form. It grows in the temperature range between 35 to 50 °C and 5.5 to 6.5 pH range. It produces lactic acid by using wheat straw, sugarcane bagasse, sorghum, coffee extract, corn stover as substrates and Beta- galactosidase using fermented soya-bean as substrates.

Bacillus coahuilensis:

It is a free living, rod shaped, gram positive, flagellum containing spore forming bacterium found in high salt marine regions. A strain m4-4T found in Mexico from a desert lagoon is found to be aerobic that grows optimally at 30- 37 °C temperature and 7.0-8.0 pH

Bacillus composti:

It is found in compost and the strain is designated as SgZ-9(T). It is catalase-positive, endospore forming, gram positive, non-motile rods. Another strain type is N.8T which has been found in compost and is thermophilic. The optimum growth occurs at 30-60 °C temperature and 6.0-8.0 pH. It is known for its ability to reduce Fe (III).

Bacillus cycloheptanicus

It is a gram positive, strictly aerobic, endospore forming, acidophilic bacterium found in soil. The optimum growth occurs in the temperature range 40-53 °C and 3.5-4.5 pH. They contain omega-alicyclic fatty acid in their membranous lipid component which is novel among bacillus species.

Bacillus cytotoxicus:

They are gram positive, spore forming, aerobic bacterium found in soil, dust, dried plants, and foods such as rice, pasta, and pastry. They are capable of surviving in the wide range of environments, from psychrophilic to thermophilic and are also metabolically diverse. It is pathogenic and is a known food borne pathogen.

Bacillus daliensis

One designated strain DLS13T, which was isolated from Dali Lake, is a gram positive, alkaliphilic, facultatively anaerobic, spore forming bacterium containing peritrichous flagella. It grows in the temperature 10-45 °C and a pH range of 7.5 -11.0.

Structure of Bacillus:

Bacillus structure Image from Google

Bacillus are the bacteria that resembles the shape of a “stick”, they belong to the Gram-positive bacterial genus which comes under “Bacilli” a class of the bacteria. The structure of bacillus species has a purpose. The cell wall of the bacteria which acts as a protective barrier as well as maintains the rod shape of the cell and also helps the cell to combat turgor pressure.

Sources of Bacillus bacteria

The genus Bacilli is the member of phylum Bacillota, it contains around 266 named species which have been categorized based on their morphology, physiology and biochemical characteristics. As the Bacillus species is present extensively, they can be found easily in air, water and ground.

The most common habitat is the Ground, Soil environments and under plant undergrowth. They are the most common laboratory contaminants.

Image depicting uses of Bacillus in general.
Image from BMC

In certain cases, they may turn into Gram- negative bacterial nature as they grow. They are present ubiquitously in nature. Bacillus bacteria are mostly aerobic but under certain conditions they behave as anaerobic. 

Sneha Sah

Hey! I am Sneha Sah, I have completed post graduation in Biotechnology. Science has always been fascinating to me and writing is my passion. As an academic writer my aim is to make Science easy and simple to learn and read. Reach me at- Snehashah14111996@gmail.com

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