The Bacillus subtilis bacterium is gram-positive, motile and spore-like. Some strains are rod-shaped, while others are cylindrical or ellipsoidal. They develop endospores, and most forms don’t produce substantial capsular material in the lab. Growth of very tiny structures (wrinkles and folds) is observed as the bacterium’s pellicles mature.
The bacterium mostly lives in water, soil, air and decaying plant remains. The endospores it produces help it stand extreme heat and aridness in the environment. While it produces an array of enzymes that enable it to break down into a number of natural substrates and aid in nutrient cycling, under most conditions it’s biologically inactive and exists in the form of a spore.