Welcome to the Bacillus Genetic Stock Center (BGSC) web site.

Our primary mission is to maintain genetically characterized strains, cloning vectors, and bacteriophage for the genus Bacillus and related organisms and to distribute these materials without prejudice to qualified scientists and educators throughout the world. Since 1978, the National Science Foundation has funded the activities of the BGSC. The Department of Microbiology in the College of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University provides facilities and administrative support. The Director of the BGSC is Dr. Daniel R. Zeigler.

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Super-competent strains of Bacillus subtilis

As discovered by John Spizizen in 1958 [1], Bacillus subtilis 168 can become transiently competent to take up DNA from its environment during early stationary phase. Competence is achieved by a minority population within a culture as a consequence of a developmental change known as the K-state, marked by growth cessation, arrest of septum formation, synthesis of DNA-uptake machinery, and activation of recombination-repair systems [2]. Entry of cells into the K-state is under control of the master regulatory protein ComK [3]. Over-expression of ComK leads to the phenomenon of super-competence, in which essentially every cell in a culture stops growing and takes up any DNA in its immediate

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