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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2000 Jun;66(6):2627-30.

Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis--one species on the basis of genetic evidence.

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  • 1The Biotechnology Centre of Oslo, University of Oslo, 0349 Oslo, Norway.

Abstract

Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis are members of the Bacillus cereus group of bacteria, demonstrating widely different phenotypes and pathological effects. B. anthracis causes the acute fatal disease anthrax and is a potential biological weapon due to its high toxicity. B. thuringiensis produces intracellular protein crystals toxic to a wide number of insect larvae and is the most commonly used biological pesticide worldwide. B. cereus is a probably ubiquitous soil bacterium and an opportunistic pathogen that is a common cause of food poisoning. In contrast to the differences in phenotypes, we show by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis and by sequence analysis of nine chromosomal genes that B. anthracis should be considered a lineage of B. cereus. This determination is not only a formal matter of taxonomy but may also have consequences with respect to virulence and the potential of horizontal gene transfer within the B. cereus group.

PMID:
10831447
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC110590
Free PMC Article

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