Bacillus cereus-Date destroyer

Jacob Salaba


Why don't we just get rid of Bacillus cereus you might ask. People do make attempts to get rid of the bacteria, but because it is so well adapted, it is very difficult. In the article Properties of Bacillus cereus and other bacilli contaminating biomaterial-based processes of the International Journal of Food Microbiology, a study is done to test the effectiveness of current Bacillus cereus detection procedures for food companies. In the study, the current method failed to recognize eight out of the thirty-four Bacillus cereus isolates, proving unreliable. Besides the inability of food companies to detect Bacillus cereus, there are other reasons why this bacteria is so successful.

Adaptations are vital to many organismsDefending food, without adaptations organisms would go extinct. Adaptation are altered or adjusted characteristics to an organism that makes them more suitable for survival, often through the process of evolution by natural selection.

Endospores- Endospore formation is a characteristic of the order bacillales. The formation of endospores (shown right) by Bacillus cereus has proven to be one of the major factors in the bacteria's success. When the environment is not suitable for Bacillus cereus it will form an endospore. The ability to form an endospore has allowed Bacillus cereus to survive in very harsh conditions, often times it will with stand the cooking of your food and still be present when you think the food is cooked! See facts for more on food. Also, bacterial spores have been found by scientists that are estimated to be forty million years old on Earth!

Movement- For movement, Bacillus cereus possess peritrichous flagella. Peritrichous flagella are flagella that surround the entire surface of the organism which in most cases allows the organism to move in their environment. The ability of movement bacillus cereus, from my research, has not been proven to be a monumental adaptation, but has been proven to be useful to the bacteria at times when movement is needed.

Binary fissionFast evolution- Like most bacteria, Bacillus cereus also has the capability to reproduce very fast and efficiently. This allows for fast evolution by natural selection. This means that the offspring from the parent cell will either die off or survive based on their ability to survive in the current environment. Those who survive are the best suited for the environment, and will in turn give off offspring that will possess the same traits that allowed for the parent to be so successful in the environment. Learn more about reproduction here!

Plasmids- What are plasmids? Plasmids are circular molecules of DNA that can replicate independently of the chromosomal DNA. Often times plasmids contain genes that are beneficial for survival. These genes can be transferred from one individual to another through horizontal gene transfer (traditional reproduction either by sexual or asexual means) which is believed to be the cause of drug resistance in bacteria.

Want to hear about some more unique adaptations by different organisms? Search! I recommend looking at the harp seal, the magic mushroom, or the sea cucumber!

So how are all these features fueled? What provides them with energy, what makes this monster go!? Click here to look at nutrition!
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