<microbiology> A genus of bacteria of the family Bacillaceae, including large aerobic or facultatively anaerobic, spore forming, rod shaped cells, the great majority of which are gram-positive and motile.

The genus is separated into 48 species, of which three are pathogenic or potentially pathogenic and the remainder are saprophytic soil forms. Many organisms historically called Bacillus are now classified in other genera.

This entry appears with permission from the Dictionary of Cell and Molecular Biology

(11 Mar 2008)