Bacillus licheniformis is a Gram-positive, endospore-forming, saprophytic organism that occurs in plant and soil (Veith et al., 2004). A taxonomical approach shows that it is closely related to Bacillus subtilis (Lapidus et al., 2002; Xu and Côte, 2003; Rey et al., 2004). Generally, most bacilli are predominantly aerobic; however, B. licheniformis is a facultative anaerobe compared to other bacilli in ecological niches (Alexander, 1977). The commercial utility of the extracellular products of B. licheniformis makes this microorganism an economically interesting species (Kovács et al., 2009). For example, B. licheniformis is used industrially for manufacturing biochemicals, enzymes, antibiotics, and aminopeptidase. Several proteases such as a-amylase, penicillinase, pentosanase, cycloglucosyltransferase, ß-mannanase, and certain pectinolytic enzymes are synthesized industrially using B. licheniformis (Rodríguez-Absi and Prescott, 1978; Rey et al., 2004). The proteases are used in the detergent industry and the amylases are utilized for starch hydrolysis, desizing of textiles, and sizing of paper (Erickson, 1976). In addition, certain strains are utilized to produce peptide antibiotics, specialty chemicals, and poly-?-glutamic acid (Nierman and Maglott, 1989; Rey et al., 2004).
Journal: Frontiers in pharmacology