Taking a Look at Escherichia Coli

Decent Essays
Escherichia coli is a gram-negative bacillus that is facultatively anaerobic and which is classified as part of the Enterobacteriaceae family. It is most commonly found in the lower intestines of warm blooded organisms although it is capable of surviving outside of the host for an extended time and may be spread through contact of infected fecal matter as well as personal contact with an infected host. Several strains of E. coli live in endotherms as part of the normal flora of the gut and provide their hosts with benefits such as the production of vitamin K2 and the prevention of establishment of the intestines by pathogenic bacteria thereby forming a mutualistic relationship with their hosts. There are five strains of E. coli which can cause gastroenteritis in people through the production of shiga toxins leading to illness and even death. However E. coli has been a large part of many valuable contributions to science for the last 60 years due to its genetic simplicity as well as its fast growth and inexpensive culturing requirements.

Escherichia coli is a well studied prokaryote and may be considered a foundation of biotechnology with the work of Herbert Boyer and Stanley Norman Cohen who used E. coli plasmids in conjunction with restriction enzymes and produced recombinant DNA.1 Even before the application of the rDNA technology, the first industrial application of E. coli being the production of the amino acid threonine in 1961 by the induced mutagenesis of the
Get Access