The phylogeny of Bacillus cereus sensu lato

Richard T. Okinaka, Paul S Keim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The three main species of the Bacillus cereus sensu lato, B. cereus, B. thuringiensis, and B. anthracis, were recognized and established by the early 1900s because they each exhibited distinct phenotypic traits. B. thuringiensis isolates and their parasporal crystal proteins have long been established as a natural pesticide and insect pathogen. B. anthracis, the etiological agent for anthrax, was used by Robert Koch in the 19th century as a model to develop the germ theory of disease, and B. cereus, a common soil organism, is also an occasional opportunistic pathogen of humans. In addition to these three historical species designations, are three less-recognized and -understood species: B. mycoides, B. weihenstephanensis, and B. pseudomycoides. All of these "species" combined comprise the Bacillus cereus sensu lato group. Despite these apparently clear phenotypic definitions, early molecular approaches to separate the first three by various DNA hybridization and 16S/23S ribosomal sequence analyses led to some "confusion" because there were limited differences to differentiate between these species. These and other results have led to frequent suggestions that a taxonomic change was warranted to reclassify this group to a single species. But the pathogenic properties of B. anthracis and the biopesticide applications of B. thuringiensis appear to "have outweighed pure taxonomic considerations" and the separate species categories are still being maintained. B. cereus sensu lato represents a classic example of a now common bacterial species taxonomic quandary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberTBS-0012-2012
JournalMicrobiology spectrum
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

Fingerprint

Bacillus cereus
Phylogeny
phylogeny
Germ Theory of Disease
Biological Control Agents
Anthrax
Pesticides
pathogen
Sequence Analysis
anthrax
Insects
biopesticide
Soil
DNA
pesticide
insect
crystal
Proteins
protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Ecology
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

The phylogeny of Bacillus cereus sensu lato. / Okinaka, Richard T.; Keim, Paul S.

In: Microbiology spectrum, Vol. 4, No. 1, TBS-0012-2012, 2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{089e5e4373e2444dbcd2d495d82a8ae5,
title = "The phylogeny of Bacillus cereus sensu lato",
abstract = "The three main species of the Bacillus cereus sensu lato, B. cereus, B. thuringiensis, and B. anthracis, were recognized and established by the early 1900s because they each exhibited distinct phenotypic traits. B. thuringiensis isolates and their parasporal crystal proteins have long been established as a natural pesticide and insect pathogen. B. anthracis, the etiological agent for anthrax, was used by Robert Koch in the 19th century as a model to develop the germ theory of disease, and B. cereus, a common soil organism, is also an occasional opportunistic pathogen of humans. In addition to these three historical species designations, are three less-recognized and -understood species: B. mycoides, B. weihenstephanensis, and B. pseudomycoides. All of these {"}species{"} combined comprise the Bacillus cereus sensu lato group. Despite these apparently clear phenotypic definitions, early molecular approaches to separate the first three by various DNA hybridization and 16S/23S ribosomal sequence analyses led to some {"}confusion{"} because there were limited differences to differentiate between these species. These and other results have led to frequent suggestions that a taxonomic change was warranted to reclassify this group to a single species. But the pathogenic properties of B. anthracis and the biopesticide applications of B. thuringiensis appear to {"}have outweighed pure taxonomic considerations{"} and the separate species categories are still being maintained. B. cereus sensu lato represents a classic example of a now common bacterial species taxonomic quandary.",
author = "Okinaka, {Richard T.} and Keim, {Paul S}",
year = "2016",
doi = "10.1128/microbiolspec.TBS-0012-2012",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "4",
journal = "Microbiology spectrum",
issn = "2165-0497",
publisher = "American Society for Microbiology",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The phylogeny of Bacillus cereus sensu lato

AU - Okinaka, Richard T.

AU - Keim, Paul S

PY - 2016

Y1 - 2016

N2 - The three main species of the Bacillus cereus sensu lato, B. cereus, B. thuringiensis, and B. anthracis, were recognized and established by the early 1900s because they each exhibited distinct phenotypic traits. B. thuringiensis isolates and their parasporal crystal proteins have long been established as a natural pesticide and insect pathogen. B. anthracis, the etiological agent for anthrax, was used by Robert Koch in the 19th century as a model to develop the germ theory of disease, and B. cereus, a common soil organism, is also an occasional opportunistic pathogen of humans. In addition to these three historical species designations, are three less-recognized and -understood species: B. mycoides, B. weihenstephanensis, and B. pseudomycoides. All of these "species" combined comprise the Bacillus cereus sensu lato group. Despite these apparently clear phenotypic definitions, early molecular approaches to separate the first three by various DNA hybridization and 16S/23S ribosomal sequence analyses led to some "confusion" because there were limited differences to differentiate between these species. These and other results have led to frequent suggestions that a taxonomic change was warranted to reclassify this group to a single species. But the pathogenic properties of B. anthracis and the biopesticide applications of B. thuringiensis appear to "have outweighed pure taxonomic considerations" and the separate species categories are still being maintained. B. cereus sensu lato represents a classic example of a now common bacterial species taxonomic quandary.

AB - The three main species of the Bacillus cereus sensu lato, B. cereus, B. thuringiensis, and B. anthracis, were recognized and established by the early 1900s because they each exhibited distinct phenotypic traits. B. thuringiensis isolates and their parasporal crystal proteins have long been established as a natural pesticide and insect pathogen. B. anthracis, the etiological agent for anthrax, was used by Robert Koch in the 19th century as a model to develop the germ theory of disease, and B. cereus, a common soil organism, is also an occasional opportunistic pathogen of humans. In addition to these three historical species designations, are three less-recognized and -understood species: B. mycoides, B. weihenstephanensis, and B. pseudomycoides. All of these "species" combined comprise the Bacillus cereus sensu lato group. Despite these apparently clear phenotypic definitions, early molecular approaches to separate the first three by various DNA hybridization and 16S/23S ribosomal sequence analyses led to some "confusion" because there were limited differences to differentiate between these species. These and other results have led to frequent suggestions that a taxonomic change was warranted to reclassify this group to a single species. But the pathogenic properties of B. anthracis and the biopesticide applications of B. thuringiensis appear to "have outweighed pure taxonomic considerations" and the separate species categories are still being maintained. B. cereus sensu lato represents a classic example of a now common bacterial species taxonomic quandary.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85006152706&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85006152706&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1128/microbiolspec.TBS-0012-2012

DO - 10.1128/microbiolspec.TBS-0012-2012

M3 - Article

C2 - 26999390

AN - SCOPUS:85006152706

VL - 4

JO - Microbiology spectrum

JF - Microbiology spectrum

SN - 2165-0497

IS - 1

M1 - TBS-0012-2012

ER -