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Bacillus mesentericus. A species of aerobic (q.v.), rod-shaped bacteria (q.v.) that cause the rather rare instances of rope (q.v.) infections in bread (q.v.). It is a sporulating (q.v.) microorganism (q.v.) that secretes a slimy, mucilaginous substance as well as proteolytic and amylolytic enzymes (q.v.) that produce the spoilage of bread. The infected bread develops a soft and sticky crumb (q.v.) with a brown discoloration, and an odor suggestive of an overripe melon.