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1.  Spatially Resolved Characterization of Water and Ion Incorporation in Bacillus Spores▿  
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2010;76(10):3275-3282.
We present the first direct visualization and quantification of water and ion uptake into the core of individual dormant Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis (B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis) endospores. Isotopic and elemental gradients in the B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis spores show the permeation and incorporation of deuterium in deuterated water (D2O) and solvated ions throughout individual spores, including the spore core. Under hydrated conditions, incorporation into a spore occurs on a time scale of minutes, with subsequent uptake of the permeating species continuing over a period of days. The distribution of available adsorption sites is shown to vary with the permeating species. Adsorption sites for Li+, Cs+, and Cl− are more abundant within the spore outer structures (exosporium, coat, and cortex) relative to the core, while F− adsorption sites are more abundant in the core. The results presented here demonstrate that elemental abundance and distribution in dormant spores are influenced by the ambient environment. As such, this study highlights the importance of understanding how microbial elemental and isotopic signatures can be altered postproduction, including during sample preparation for analysis, and therefore, this study is immediately relevant to the use of elemental and isotopic markers in environmental microbiology and microbial forensics.
PMCID: PMC2869133  PMID: 20348293
3.  Determination of the most closely related bacillus isolates to Bacillus anthracis by multilocus sequence typing. 
There have been many efforts to develop Bacillus anthracis detection assays, but the problem of false-positive results has often been encountered. Therefore, to validate an assay for B. anthracis detection, it is critical to examine its specificity with the most closely related Bacillus isolates that are available. To define the most closely related Bacillus isolates to B. anthracis in our Bacillus collections, we analyzed by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) the phylogeny of 77 closely related Bacillus isolates selected from 264 Bacillus isolates. The selection includes all the Bacillus isolates that have been shown in our previous studies to produce false-positive results by some anthrax-detection assays. The MLST phylogenetic analyses revealed that 27 of the non-B. anthracis isolates clustered within the B. anthracis clade, and four of them (three sequence types, STs) had the highest degree of genetic relatedness with B. anthracis, 18 (11 STs) had the second highest, and five (five STs) had the third highest. We anticipate that the inclusion of the 19 ST isolates when analyzing B. anthracis detection assays will prove to be useful for screening for their specificity to detect B. anthracis.
PMCID: PMC2259134  PMID: 16197725
4.  HEPA/Vaccine Plan for Indoor Anthrax Remediation 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2005;11(1):69-76.
A mathematical model suggests that a HEPA/vaccine approach is viable for most buildings after a large-scale anthrax attack.
We developed a mathematical model to compare 2 indoor remediation strategies in the aftermath of an outdoor release of 1.5 kg of anthrax spores in lower Manhattan. The 2 strategies are the fumigation approach used after the 2001 postal anthrax attack and a HEPA/vaccine plan, which relies on HEPA vacuuming, HEPA air cleaners, and vaccination of reoccupants. The HEPA/vaccine approach leads to few anthrax cases among reoccupants if applied to all but the most heavily contaminated buildings, and recovery is much faster than under the decades-long fumigation plan. Only modest environmental sampling is needed. A surge capacity of 10,000 to 20,000 Hazmat workers is required to perform remediation within 6 to 12 months and to avoid permanent mass relocation. Because of the possibility of a campaign of terrorist attacks, serious consideration should be given to allowing or encouraging voluntary self-service cleaning of lightly contaminated rooms by age-appropriate, vaccinated, partially protected (through masks or hoods) reoccupants or owners.
PMCID: PMC3294362  PMID: 15705325
research; HEPA filter; anthrax; mathematical model; bioterrorism; remediation; vaccine
5.  Ultrastructural Studies of Sporulation in a Conditionally Temperature-Sensitive Ribonucleic Acid Polymerase Mutant of Bacillus subtilis 
Journal of Bacteriology  1973;115(2):703-706.
Morphological studies of a conditionally temperature-sensitive ribonucleic acid polymerase mutant of Bacillus subtilis have revealed that sporulation is inhibited at stage II when the cells are grown at 47.5 C. Growth and sporulation occur normally at 30 C with the mutant. The mutant grows normally at 47.5 C but is prevented from sporulating at the nonpermissive temperature by an abnormal septation during forespore membrane formation which prevents the subsequent engulfment process (stage III). The mutation affects the normal functioning of ribonucleic acid polymerase at the nonpermissive temperature resulting in abortive sporulation.
PMCID: PMC246302  PMID: 4199138
6.  Ultrastructural Analysis of Sporulation in a Conditional Serine Protease Mutant of Bacillus subtilis1 
Journal of Bacteriology  1972;111(1):248-253.
The morphological characteristics of wild-type Bacillus subtilis and a temperature-sensitive serine protease derivative have been observed during vegetative and sporulation time periods. At 30 C wild-type and mutant cells grow and sporulate identically. At 47.5 C wild-type and mutant cells grow identically, but the mutant cells are blocked at stage 0 or I in the sporulation sequence. Wild-type cells sporulate normally at 47.5 C.
PMCID: PMC251264  PMID: 4130426

Results 1-6 (6)