Bacillus horneckiae sp. nov., isolated from a spacecraft-assembly clean room

Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2010 May;60(Pt 5):1031-1037. doi: 10.1099/ijs.0.008979-0. Epub 2009 Aug 7.


Five Gram-stain-positive, motile, aerobic strains were isolated from a clean room of the Kennedy Space Center where the Phoenix spacecraft was assembled. All strains are rod-shaped, spore-forming bacteria, whose spores were resistant to UV radiation up to 1000 J m(-2). The spores were subterminally positioned and produced an external layer. A polyphasic taxonomic study including traditional biochemical tests, fatty acid analysis, cell-wall typing, lipid analyses, 16S rRNA gene sequencing and DNA-DNA hybridization studies was performed to characterize these novel strains. 16S rRNA gene sequencing and lipid analyses convincingly grouped these novel strains within the genus Bacillus as a cluster separate from already described species. The similarity of 16S rRNA gene sequences among the novel strains was >99 %, but the similarity was only about 97 % with their nearest neighbours Bacillus pocheonensis, Bacillus firmus and Bacillus bataviensis. DNA-DNA hybridization dissociation values were <24 % to the closest related type strains. The novel strains had a G+C content 35.6+/-0.5 mol% and could liquefy gelatin but did not utilize or produce acids from any of the carbon substrates tested. The major fatty acids were iso-C(15 : 0) and anteiso-C(15 : 0) and the cell-wall diamino acid was meso-diaminopimelic acid. Based on phylogenetic and phenotypic results, it is concluded that these strains represent a novel species of the genus Bacillus, for which the name Bacillus horneckiae sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is 1P01SC(T) (=NRRL B-59162(T) =MTCC 9535(T)).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus / classification*
  • Bacillus / genetics
  • Bacillus / isolation & purification*
  • Bacillus / physiology
  • Bacterial Typing Techniques
  • Base Composition
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • DNA, Ribosomal / analysis
  • Environmental Microbiology*
  • Fatty Acids / analysis
  • Genes, rRNA
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Phenotype
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Spacecraft*
  • Species Specificity


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • Fatty Acids
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S

Associated data

  • GENBANK/EU861362
  • GENBANK/EU861363
  • GENBANK/EU861364
  • GENBANK/EU861365
  • GENBANK/EU861366