Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



BMC Genomics 2016, 17(Suppl 7):511


Copyright 2016 The Author(s)


Background: We recently reported the identification of Bacillus sp. NRRL B-14911 that induces heart autoimmunity by generating cardiac-reactive T cells through molecular mimicry. This marine bacterium was originally isolated from the Gulf of Mexico, but no associations with human diseases were reported. Therefore, to characterize its biological and medical significance, we sought to determine and analyze the complete genome sequence of Bacillus sp. NRRL B-14911.

Results: Based on the phylogenetic analysis of 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes, sequence analysis of the 16S-23S rDNA intergenic transcribed spacers, phenotypic microarray, and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-offlight mass spectrometry, we propose that this organism belongs to the species Bacillus infantis, previously shown to be associated with sepsis in a newborn child. Analysis of the complete genome of Bacillus sp. NRRL B-14911 revealed several virulence factors including adhesins, invasins, colonization factors, siderophores and transporters. Likewise, the bacterial genome encodes a wide range of methyl transferases, transporters, enzymatic and biochemical pathways, and insertion sequence elements that are distinct from other closely related bacilli.

Conclusions: The complete genome sequence of Bacillus sp. NRRL B-14911 provided in this study may facilitate genetic manipulations to assess gene functions associated with bacterial survival and virulence. Additionally, this bacterium may serve as a useful tool to establish a disease model that permits systematic analysis of autoimmune events in various susceptible rodent strains.