Why Sequence Bacillus Cereus strains?
The Bacillus cereus group is now attracting the greatest interest among researchers working on bacilli and other gram-positive bacteria. One of the fundamental and practical questions being asked is how the ecological adaptation of these bacteria results in pathogens for animals and insects (like B. anthracis or some B. thuringiensis lines). This has inspired intensive phylogenetic studies, revealing the epidemic structure of this bacterial population. B. cereus includes strains that are presumably innocuous (some strains are used as animal probiotics) and strains that have caused food poisoning, either emetic or diarrheic. All emetic strains, as well as B. anthracis, seem to represent a single clone, but at the moment, diarrheic strains cannot be easily discriminated from one other. The existence of foodborne pathogenic strains and psychrotrophic strains (i.e., strains able to live at low temperatures) within the same cluster is the real challenge for food safety. Genomic studies of s