National BioResource Project

bsub_imageProkaryotes (B. subtilis)

Last update: April 3, 2020 

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Microbial Physiology Laboratory, Department of Gene Function and Phenomics, National Institute of Genetics

NIKI Hironori

〒411-8540 1111 yata Mishima-shi
Tel : +81-55-981-6870
Fax : +81-55-981-6826


Bacillus subtilis, a fermentable microorganism, has for long been used in the production of natto, and is thus a familiar feature of our daily life. In addition, B. subtilis has been used in a wide range of basic and applied research as a representative gram-positive bacterium. Since B. subtilis exhibits unique biological properties that are different to those of Escherichia coli, a gram-negative enteric bacterium, it is considered an important prokaryote model for basic research. Moreover, in applied fields, B. subtilis is also used in the industrial production of various degradative enzymes, some of which are familiar to us as the proteases in detergents.

The B. subtilis genome has been sequenced as a result of global cooperation among scientists from Japan, Europe, and the US. Furthermore, a comprehensive range of B. subtilis knockout strains is currently being developed based on the genome information, primarily by a Japanese team in collaboration with other international research teams. Our project was initiated with the aim of distributing the comprehensive collection of B. subtilis knockout strains to researchers around the world, and also to develop a genetic resource center for B. subtilis genome resources.

Our project involves the collection and preservation of the extensive range of B. subtilis knockout strains and distributes them to researchers, both within Japan and overseas, for the effective use of these resources.

- Primary Preserved Strains -
All our B. subtilis resources were derived from the 168 strain commonly used for research purposes. We primarily preserve and distribute the collection of B. subtilis knockout strains, which currently comprises approximately 2500 strains. These strains were mainly developed by the Ogasawara Laboratory at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology (Kobayashi et al., 2003).We plan to start taking depositions within the fiscal year 2007, to verify all the knockout genes in the strains, and, having verified the strain authenticity, commence distribution in the fiscal year 2008.


Available Resources


Distribution / Deposition


Research Result

Thus far, research achievements including the discovery of the GTP-binding protein family necessary for the biosynthesis of ribosomes (Matsuo et al., 2006) and of a novel RNA modification enzyme (Somma et al., 2003) have been reported.


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 Panel exhibition at the The 32nd Annual Meeting of the Molecular Biology Society of Japan.