Bacillus licheniformis (BACLI) | BCH-ORGA-SCBD-48360 | Organism | Biosafety Clearing-House


Organism (ORGA)

last updated: 24 Nov 2015
Organism information
Bacillus licheniformis
Kingdom Bacteria
Phylum Firmicutes
Class Bacilli
Order Bacillales
Family Bacillaceae
Genus Bacillus
Species Bacillus licheniformis
Characteristics related to biosafety
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 dust.
Additional Information
Bacillus licheniformis is toxinogenic and food poisoning in humans has been associated with cooked meat, poultry and vegetable dishes (particularly stews and curries which have been served with rice). Food poisoning by Bacillus licheniformis is characterised by diarrhoea, although vomiting occurs in half of reported cases.

Bacillus licheniformis is used by industry to produce proteases and amylases. Proteases are needed in huge amounts for example as additions to washing agents. B. licheniformis is also used to make the polypeptide antibiotic Bacitracin.