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J Appl Bacteriol. 1989 Sep;67(3):275-82.

A comparative study of enzyme variation in Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz (FIOCRUZ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Thirty-two strains of Bacillus spp. were examined in a multilocus enzyme study by agarose gel electrophoresis. The organisms were Bacillus thuringiensis (21 strains, B. cereus (8), including two of var. mycoides, and B. megaterium (3). Strains having similar enzyme variants were grouped into zymovars. A total of 10 of 11 enzyme loci studied were polymorphic and 27 zymovars were distinguished among the 32 strains. The results were subjected to numerical analysis, phenetic affinities and genetic distances between the strains were calculated. The numerical analysis was unable to differentiate between B. thuringiensis and B. cereus. Our results indicated that based on this multilocus enzyme study these zymovars should be considered as belonging to the same species. A mycoides variant of B. cereus was the most distinctive strain studied and clearly belonged to a separate species, B. mycoides. The technique also allowed for identification of contamination and mislabelling of strains.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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