, Volume 70, Issue 4, pp 411–419 | Cite as

The biology and potential biotechnological applications of Bacillus safensis

  • Agbaje LateefEmail author
  • Isiaka Adedayo Adelere
  • Evariste Bosco Gueguim-Kana


Bacillus safensis colonizes a wide range of habitats, many of which are stringent for the survival of some microorganisms. Its survival in extreme environments relies on its unique physiological and genotypic characteristics. It was originally identified as a recalcitrant contaminant in a spacecraft-assembly facility (SAF) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA, from which it derived its specific epithet, safensis. The bacterium belongs to the Bacillus pumilus group, and is closely related to Bacillus pumilus, Bacillus altitudinis, Bacillus xiamenensis and Bacillus invictae. At times, B. safensis has been erroneously identified as B. pumilus, especially when extensive molecular analyses and some mass spectroscopic methods, such as matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-fiight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS), are not considered. B. safensis possesses some plant growth-promoting traits and also has promising biotechnological applications due to its ability to produce various industrial enzymes and industrially applicable secondary metabolites. It may be regarded as a safe industrial microorganism because its pathogenicity has never been evidenced. This review attempts to chronicles the biology of B. safensis and its exploit as a potential industrially important bacterium. The ecology, physiology, genetics, and biotechnological applications of B. safensis are hereby presented in this review. This represents the first compendium of information on its attributes and applications that may be useful in opening a new vista of research on the bacterium.

Key words

Bacillus safensis keratinase dehairing destaining biocatalysis nanoparticles plant growth promotion 



matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-fiight mass spectrometry


spacecraft-assembly facility


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AL thanked authority of LAUTECH, Ogbomoso, for providing fund for some aspects of this work through the TETFund Research Project Intervention (APU/TETFund/114) for the project titled ‘Efficient Biotechnological Management of Keratin Waste to create Novel Products’, and AIA gratefully acknowledged authority of FUT, Minna, for study leave to undertake postgraduate study.


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Copyright information

© Slovak Academy of Sciences 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Agbaje Lateef
    • 1
    Email author
  • Isiaka Adedayo Adelere
    • 1
    • 2
  • Evariste Bosco Gueguim-Kana
    • 3
  1. 1.Microbiology Unit, Department of Pure and Applied BiologyLadoke Akintola University of TechnologyOgbomosoNigeria
  2. 2.Department of MicrobiologyFederal University of TechnologyMinnaNigeria
  3. 3.School of Life Science, Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalPietermaritzburgSouth Africa

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