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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2008 Aug;285(2):220-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.2008.01231.x. Epub 2008 Jun 28.

A Bacillus thuringiensis strain producing a polyglutamate capsule resembling that of Bacillus anthracis.

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School of Life Sciences, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, UK.


Bacillus thuringiensis serovar Monterrey strain BGSC 4AJ1 produced a microscopically visible capsule that reacted with a fluorescent antibody specific for the poly-gamma-d-glutamic acid (PGA) capsule of Bacillus anthracis. PGA capsule biosynthesis genes with 75%, 81%, 72%, 65% and 63% similarity, respectively, to those of the B. anthracis capBCADE cluster were present on a plasmid (pAJ1-1). Strain BGSC 4AJ1, together with five strains of Bacillus cereus that hybridized to a PGA cap gene probe, were analyzed phylogenetically using six housekeeping genes of a B. cereus multilocus sequence typing scheme. Bacillus thuringiensis BGSC 4AJ1 shared four identical alleles with B. anthracis and was the second most closely related to this bacterium of the 674 isolates in the multilocus sequence typing database. The other cap+ strains were distributed among various lineages of Clade 1 of the B. cereus group.

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