What is Bacillus?
Bacteria are unique living organisms that live their entire life as a single cell. Bacillus is a specific type (genus) of bacteria which grow aerobically (with oxygen) and to some extent anaerobically (without oxygen) and forms spores.
What are Bacillus spores?
Bacillus spores are “bacterial seeds” which, much like a plant seed gives rise to one plant when given nutrients and water, give rise to one Bacillus cell when conditions are favorable for growth. Spores form when cells are stressed (i.e. nutrient starvation).
Bacillus spores have a distinct advantage over non-spore formers in adverse conditions because spores are:
- Resistant to high heat
- Resistant to dryness
- Resistant to very basic/acidic conditions
- Resistant to high salt environments
- Spore formation – increased stability in adverse/harsh conditions
- Production of extracellular enzymes
- Metabolically diverse – grows on a wide variety of organic and inorganic substrates
- Production of fungicides, insecticides and other antimicrobial compounds
- Production of phytohormones – produces compounds that enhance plant growth
- Endophytic – grow within plants without causing harm to protect plants from fungi, insects, etc.
- Biofilm/surface colonization – communities of cells to coat and protect intestinal linings, root surfaces, pipes, septic walls, etc.