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Bacillus is a bacterial genus belonging to the Firmicutes phyla. It’s estimated that over 300 species belong to the genus, making it one of the most diverse genera in the microbial world (Celandroni et al., 2019). Bacillus are gram positive, rod shaped, spore forming microbes with a plethora of physiological functions and abilities. They’ve attracted a lot of interest in the medical, natural health and agricultural industries, with many of their metabolites and cellular components being used in industrial processes.
They are able to produce endospores when the vegetative cell undergoes stress, such as reduced nutrient availability. Sporulation is a multi-step process allowing the cell to divide within itself creating an endospore which contains all the genetic material from the vegetative cell. The mature spore is released once the vegetative cell has degraded. These spores are incredibly hardy and can last for many years in different environments, they are typically found in soil and water. Many of these spores are resistant to extreme temperatures, acidity, salt concentrations, UV radiation and some disinfectants. When nutrients become available, the spore is able to sense this and germinates into an active vegetative cell once again. Sporulation is a pure survival mechanism for the microbe, however this can be exploited to our own advantage.
Bacillus have potential to support health and wellbeing. Bacillus coagulans and Bacillus subtilis are the most commonly used species in probiotic research.
Read more about the strains that we have included from this genus below:
Celandroni, F. et al. (2019) ‘Identification of Bacillus species: Implication on the quality of probiotic formulations’, PLOS ONE, 14(5), p. e0217021. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0217021.