The Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis has been used for more than 50 years as a model to understand the detailed functions and complex interactions of cellular components. As a result it is one of the best understood of all living organisms. The soil-dwelling bacterium B. subtilis is well equipped to respond and adapt to changing environmental conditions. Not in the last place due to its genetic tractability, B. subtilis is exceptionally well suited for studying signal transduction and gene regulatory networks as well as cell differentiation processes, such as endospore formation or biofilm development. In addition to this importance to basic science, Bacillus species are industrially important cell factories. In particular, their high capacity for protein secretion makes these bacteria highly attractive for the production of recombinant proteins like extracellular enzymes and pharmaceutical proteins.

Research groups working on Bacillus Click here

Collaborative European research initiatives



Funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme Click here

The Rafts4Biotech project builds upon the discovery of bacterial lipid rafts and exploits them as a tool for spatial confinement of reactions of industrial interest. Introducing the concept of bacterial lipid rafts in biotechnology will foster the industrial application of Bacillus subtilis and other bacterial species and allow the production of a broad range of novel compounds.


A Horizon 2020 Marie SkƗodowska-Curie Actions Funded European Training Network Click here

The PATHSENSE (Pathogen Sensing) ETN brings together an interdisciplinary team of world-leading researchers from Europe to tackle a highly ambitious scientific project, focusing on the molecular mechanisms of sensory perception in bacterial pathogens. Stress sensing in the model organism B. subtilis is also being addressed.


A Horizon 2020 Marie SkƗodowska-Curie Actions Funded European Training Network

The ‘SECRETERS’ partnership aims to bring about a step change in the production of recombinant proteins, particularly biotherapeutics and industrial enzymes. Many proteins in these categories pose severe problems in production, especially disulphide-bonded proteins and new format ‘difficult-to-express’ proteins. SECRETERS will train a team of 15 Early Stage Researchers to develop a new generation of super-producing microbial production hosts, especially Bacillus species, Escherichia coli and the yeast Komagataella phaffii (known as Pichia pastoris).