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D-Alanine Metabolism in B. thuringiensis

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Bacilli are rod-shaped, Gram-positive, sporulating, aerobes or facultative anaerobes. Most bacilli are saprophytes. Due to the metabolic diversity in the genus Bacillus, Bacilli are able to colonize a variety of habitats ranging from soil to insects, to humans (Ref.1 & 2). B. thuringiensis (commonly known as Bt ) is an insecticidal bacterium, marketed worldwide for control of many important plant pests mainly caterpillars of the Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) but also for control of mosquito larvae and simuliid blackflies that vector river blindness in Africa. It produces intracellular protein crystals toxic to a wide number of insect larvae and is the most commonly used biological pesticide worldwide (Ref.3 & 4).

The cell wall of these Gram-positive bacteria is a unique biopolymer, containing [...]


1.Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis--one species on the basis of genetic evidence.
Helgason E, Okstad OA, Caugant DA, Johansen HA, Fouet A, Mock M, Hegna I, Kolsto.
Appl Environ Microbiol. 2000 Jun; 66(6):2627-30.
2.Genome differences that distinguish Bacillus anthracis from Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis.
Radnedge L, Agron PG, Hill KK, Jackson PJ, Ticknor LO, Keim P, Andersen GL.
Appl Environ Microbiol. 2003 May; 69(5):2755-64.
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