Bacillus licheniformis forms spores in soil. A pathway that leads
to endospore formation is initiated when the bacterium is starved.
Endospore formation is actually desired and serves as a great
example of prokaryotic development and differentiation. These
spores are quite tolerant of heat, cold, radiation, and other
environmental stresses. Under good conditions, the spores will
germinate and produce vegetative cells.
B. licheniformis produces a variety of extracellular enzymes that
are associated with the cycling of nutrients in nature. It is an
apathogenic soil organism that is mostly associated with plant and
plant materials in nature. Although it is most common to isolate
this bacterium from is soil, it is believed that B. licheniformis
can actually be isolated from practically anywhere since it
produces highly resistant endospores that are spread around with