Complete genome sequence of the mosquitocidal bacterium Bacillus sphaericus C3-41 and comparison with those of closely related Bacillus species.
Bacillus sphaericus strain C3-41 is an aerobic, mesophilic, spore-forming bacterium that has been used with great success in mosquito control programs worldwide. Genome sequencing revealed that the complete genome of this entomopathogenic bacterium is composed of a chromosomal replicon of 4,639,821 bp and a plasmid replicon of 177,642 bp, containing 4,786 and 186 potential protein-coding sequences, respectively. Comparison of the genome with other published sequences indicated that the B. sphaericus C3-41 chromosome is most similar to that of Bacillus sp. strain NRRL B-14905, a marine species that, like B. sphaericus, is unable to metabolize polysaccharides. The lack of key enzymes and sugar transport systems in the two bacteria appears to be the main reason for this inability, and the abundance of proteolytic enzymes and transport systems may endow these bacteria with exclusive metabolic pathways for a wide variety of organic compounds and amino acids. The genes shared between B. sphaericus C3-41 and Bacillus sp. strain NRRL B-14905, including mobile genetic elements, membrane-associated proteins, and transport systems, demonstrated that these two species are a biologically and phylogenetically divergent group. Knowledge of the genome sequence of B. sphaericus C3-41 thus increases our understanding of the bacilli and may also offer prospects for future genetic improvement of this important biological control agent.