Bacillus safensis, a Gram-positive, spore-forming, aerobic, chemo-heterotrophic bacterium and highly resistant to salt , gamma and UV radiation, that has raised some concerns over a possibility of having been brought to the planet Mars with the two space probes Spirit and Opportunity in 2004. The bacterium is named after the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Spacecraft Assembly Facility (SAF) where it was first discovered. Bacillus safensis were included in the Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment, which was launched aboard the (failed) Fobos-Grunt mission in November 2011.
Bacillus safensis is salt tolerating plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) and potent plant hormone producer. It has the ability to produce industrially important enzymes like amylase, lipase, protease, chitinase and pectinase. The genome sequence of Bacillus safensis on GenBank under the Accession no. AUPF00000000.
- Kothari V V et al. (2013) Genome Sequence of Salt-Tolerant Bacillus safensis Strain VK , Isolated from Saline Desert Area of Gujarat , India. 1:2046.(http://genomea.asm.org/content/1/5/e00671-13.full.pdf)
- Satomi, Masataka; La Duc, Myron T.; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri (2006). "Bacillus safensis sp. nov., isolated from spacecraft and assembly-facility surfaces". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 56 (8): 1735–1740. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.64189-0. ISSN 1466-5026.
- Alexander, Amir. "The LIFE Organisms: Bacteria". The Planetary Society. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
- The whole genome sequence project of Bacillus safensis VK (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/bioproject/PRJNA210810)
- "It's one small step for a bug, a giant red face for Nasa". The Sunday Times. July 17, 2005. Archived from the original on 2006-01-15.
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