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Bacillus licheniformis



Bacillus licheniformis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Firmicutes
Class: Bacilli
Order: Bacillales
Family: Bacillaceae
Genus: Bacillus
Species: B. licheniformis
Binomial name
Bacillus licheniformis

Bacillus licheniformis is a bacterium commonly found in the soil. Recently, studies have also shown that it is found on bird feathers, especially chest and back plumage, and most often in ground dwelling birds (like sparrows) and aquatic species (like ducks).

Additional recommended knowledge

Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus subtilis, and Bacillus pumilus comprise the subtilis group, which has been associated with a range of clinical conditions, food spoilage such as ropy bread, and incidents of food-borne gastro-enteritis. B. licheniformis has also been associated with septicaemia, peritonitis, ophthalmitis, and food poisoning in humans, as well as with bovine toxaemia and abortions. B. licheniformis is a common contaminant of dairy products. Most food poisoning incidents attributed to Bacillus species are associated with Bacillus cereus, but the relevance of the subtilis group as food poisoning organisms is being increasingly recognised. B. cereus toxins have been well documented, but involvement of toxins produced by B. licheniformis has not yet been demonstrated. Food-borne B. licheniformis outbreaks are predominantly associated with cooked meats and vegetables. We report here on toxin-producing isolates of B. licheniformis obtained from foods involved in food poisoning incidents, from raw milk, and from industrially produced baby food.

Bacillus licheniformis:  Stomach pains  Diarrhoea (acute)  Vomiting (may occasionally occur) The symptoms usually onset within 2-14 hours and last no longer than 36 hours

It is a gram positive, thermophillic bacterium. Optimal growth temperature is around 50°C, though it can survive at much higher temperatures. Optimal temperature for enzyme secretion is 37°C. It can exist in spore form to resist harsh environs, or in a vegetative state when conditions are good.

Currently, scientists are exploring its ability to degrade feathers for agricultural purposes. Feathers contain high amounts of non digestible proteins, but researchers hope that by fementation with B. licheniformis, they can use waste feathers to produce cheap and nutritious feather meal to feed to livestock.

Ecological research is also being done looking at the interaction between plumage colors and B. licheniformis activity, and the consequences thereof. Feather degrading bacteria may have played an important role in the evolution of molting, and patterns in feather coloration (Gloger's Rule).

Biological Washing Powder

Bacillus licheniformis is cultured in order to obtain protease for use in biological washing powder. The bacteria is well adapted to grow in alkaline conditions, and as such, the protease that it produces can withstand high pH levels, making it ideal for this use. The protease has a pH optimum of between 9 and 10 and is added to laundy detergents, in order to digest, and hence remove dirt comprised of proteins on garments. This allows for much lower temperatures to be used, resulting in lower energy use and a lesser risk of shrinkage of garments or loss of coloured dyes.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Bacillus_licheniformis". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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