Gene sequence of Bacillus subtilis complete
Bacillus subtilis is of great importance for medicine and industry. Its genome, which contains the codes for around 4100 genes, is now fully decrypted. This makes it the first Gram-positive bacterium whose DNA sequence has been decrypted. Antoine Danchin from the Paris Institute Pasteur and a team of international colleagues present all 4214810 base pairs of the bacterium Bacillus subtilis in Nature of November 20, 1997. Overall, this is the ninth organism whose genome has been completely sequenced, but Bacillus subtilis is the first representative of the Gram-positive bacteria. The name indicates that these bacteria can be colored using a special technique. However, they do not form a closed group within the bacteria and are only partially related to each other.
Gram-positive organisms include many pathogens, including those that cause diphtheria, tuberculosis, pneumonia, botulism and many more. Quite a few of these bacteria have recently become resistant to many antibiotics, and isolated strains have also appeared against which no single drug could help. Knowledge of the genetic make-up of Bacillus subtilis could point the way out of the impending impasse in the fight against these pathogens.
A large proportion of Bacillus subtilis genes are used to produce exotic chemicals and release them outside the cell into its environment. Researchers hope to harness this machinery and use the bacterium as a small synthesis machine for various complicated substances.
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