Bacillus subtilis, known also as the hay bacillus or grass bacillus, is a Gram-positive, catalase-positive bacterium, found in soil and the gastrointestinal tract of ruminants and humans.
A member of the genus Bacillus, B. subtilis is rod-shaped, and can form a tough, protective endospore, allowing it to tolerate extreme environmental conditions.
B. subtilis has historically been classified as an obligate aerobe, though evidence exists that it is a facultative aerobe.
B. subtilis is considered the best studied Gram-positive bacterium and a model organism to study bacterial chromosome replication and cell differentiation.
It is one of the bacterial champions in secreted enzyme production and used on an industrial scale by biotechnology companies.