Escherichia coli (or E. coli or colibacillus) is a model organism studied in biology laboratories.
The Colibacillus is a Gram negative (often written Gram -) bacillus (rod shaped bacillus). Escherichia coli has a double stranded circular DNA genome containing 4.6 million base pairs which has been completely sequenced. It replicates very quickly at 37°C, that is, every 20 minutes, making the multiplication of itsDNA or proteins of interest straightforward.
It is a bacterium commonly found in the intestines of mammals, including human beings. There are different forms of the bacillus, some of which are pathogenic and cause intestinal, urinary and genital infections.
The E. coli bacterium has become essential in laboratories. It is very easy to convert by adding new pieces of DNA which we wish to clone to it . It can also be used to express large amounts of proteins. In addition to being a tool, E. coli has also been studied to improve understanding of how bacteria functions in general.
The E. coli bacterium is a tool as well as being a model organism. © Eric Erbe, Christopher Pooley, USDA, ARS, EMU, Wikimedia, public domain