Genome features of the Bacillus cereus group genomes (representative strains of Bacillus cereus, Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus thuringiensis sub spp. israelensis) were analyzed and compared with the Bacillus subtilis genome. A core set of 1381 protein families among the four Bacillus genomes, with an additional set of 933 families common to the B. cereus group, was identified. Differences in signal transduction pathways, membrane transporters, cell surface structures, cell wall, and S-layer proteins suggesting differences in their phenotype were identified. The B. cereus group has signal transduction systems including a tyrosine kinase related to two-component system histidine kinases from B. subtilis. A model for regulation of the stress responsive sigma factor sigmaB in the B. cereus group different from the well studied regulation in B. subtilis has been proposed. Despite a high degree of chromosomal synteny among these genomes, significant differences in cell wall and spore coat proteins that contribute to the survival and adaptation in specific hosts has been identified.