Where does the name of Bacillus subtilis come from? - (Jun/13/2006 )
I am trying to answer the question "where does the name of Bacillus subtilis come from?". However, It is not easy to find out the answer. I will appreciate for any comments.
Thanks a lot!
The list of bacterial name with standing in nomenclature gives those 2 references for the original descrption:
EHRENBERG (C.G.): Dritter Beitrag zur Erkenntniss grosser Organisation in der Richtung des kleinsten Raumes. Physikalische Abhandlungen der Koeniglichen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin aus den Jahren 1833-1835, 1835, pp. 143-336.
COHN (F.): Untersuchungen über Bakterien. Beitrage zur Biologie der Pflanzen, 1872, 1 (Heft 2), 127-224.
With a good library, and a good knoledge of german the answer is right at your hand. I don't have the library and my german isn't that good anyway, sorry
I'don't know if you still need this information but I guess bacillus subtilis comes from latin.
Subtilis stands for "thin" but I don't remember what bacillus stands for sorry!
doesn't bacillus mean 'rod-shaped'? I think it refers to morphology, like coccus means 'spherical'...is that right?
Yeah that's how I remembered it to mean. Just checked it and that is essentially correct.
"Bacillus" is rod-shaped, for sure. But the origin of "subtilis" is a bit harder.
Apparently, it is because the first samples were isolated underneath roofing materials...sub-tilis, geddit???;-)
As panda has suggested 'subtilis' means 'thin' though a more literal translation from the Latin gives 'fine' or 'precise' as the true definition.
Given that these were among the first bacteria to be described and named the moniker 'subtilis' appears to be a simple description of shape: rod-like and fine/thin.