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The Bacteria

Phylogenetic tree of the major lineages

of Bacteria based on 16S ribosomal RNA
Sequence comparisons

The Purple Bacteria, also called Proteobacteria is the

largest and most physiological diverse of all bacteria


Purple and Green (Anoxygenic Phototrophic Bacteria)

Chemolithotrophs: Nitrifying Bacteria
Chemolithotrophs: Sulfur- and Iron-Oxidizing Bacteria
Chemolithotrophs: Hydrogen-Oxidizing Bacteria
Methanotrophs and Methylotrophs
Sulfate and Sulfur-Reducing Bacteria
Homoacetogenic Bacteria
Budding and Appendaged (Prosthecate) Bacteria
Gliding Bacteria
Sheathed Bacteria


Free-Living Aerobic Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria
Acetic Acid Bacteria
Zymomonas and Chromobacterium
Vibrio and Related Genera
Facultatively Aerobic Gram-Negative Rods
Neisseria and other Gram-Negative Cocci
Gram-Positive Bacteria: Cocci
Lactic Acid Bacteria
Endospore-Forming Gram-Positive Rods and Cocci
High GC Gram-Positive Bacteria: Actinomycetes
Coryneform Bacteria
Propionic Acid Bacteria
Filamentoud Actinomycetes

Sulfate- and Sulfur-Reducing Bacteria

Representative Sulfate-reducing and sulfur-reducing bacteria
Most are Delta Purple Bacteria
Desulfovibrio desulfuricans

Desulfonema limicola

Desulfosarcina variabilis

Desulfobacter postgatei

Desulfobulbus propionicus

Sulfur-reducing bacteria

Desulfuromonas acetoxidans

Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria
Strict anaerobes,
Divided into two broad physiological subgroups:
Genera in Group I (Desulfovibrio, Desulfomonas,
Desulfotomaculum, Desulfobulbus)
utilize lactate, pyruvate, ethanol, or certain fatty acids as
carbon and energy sources, reducing sulfate to hydrogen
Genera in Group II (Desulfococcus, Desulfosarcina,
Desulfonema, Desulfonema)
specialize in the oxidation of fatty acids, particularly
acetate, reducing sulfate to sulfide
Growth and reduction of sulfate by Desulfotomaculum in certain
canned foods leads to a type of spoilage called sulfide stinker,
Habitants of anoxic aquatic and terrestrial environments

Sulfur-Reducing Bacteria
Able to reduce elemental sulfur to sulfide
Unable to reduce sulfate to sulfide
Obligate anaerobes
Utilize only sulfur as an electron acceptor
Also referred to as dissimilatory sulfurreducing bacteria
Members of the genus Desulfuromonas can
grow anaerobically by coupling the oxidation of
substrates such as acetate to ethanol to the
reduction of elemental sulfur to hydrogen

Homoacetogenic Bacteria
Obligate anaerobes
CO2 as a terminal electron acceptor
Acetate as the sole product of anaerobic respiration
Acetyl-CoA pathway convert CO 2 to acetate
Typical species: Acetobacterium woodii and
Clostridium aceticum

Homoacetogenic Bacteria

Mechanism of
autotrophy in
and methanogenic

Reactions of the Acetyl-CoA Pathway

Budding and Appendaged (Prosthecate) Bacteria

Asticcacaulis biprosthecum

Ancalomicrobium adetum

Ancalochloris perfilievii


Budding and Appendaged (Prosthecate) Bacteria

Contain various kinds of cytoplasmic extrusions:
These kinds of extrusions, which are smaller in diameter
than mature cell, contain cytoplasma, and are bounded by
the cell wall, are called prosthecae (singular prostheca)
Unequal cell growth, such as polar growth
Majority is purple bacteria except Planctomyces and Pirella
which are unusual as their cell walls consist mainly of
Most are aquatic, many live attach to surfaces using
A stalk is usually a prostheca except in Planctomyces

Budding and Appendaged (Prosthecate) Bacteria

Contrast between cell division

in conventional bacteria and in
budding and stalked bacteria

Budding and Appendaged (Prosthecate) Bacteria

A Caulobacter rosette. The five cells are
attached by their stalks (prosthecae)

Budding and Appendaged (Prosthecate) Bacteria

Stages in the Hyphomicrobium cell cycle

Budding and Appendaged (Prosthecate) Bacteria

Physiology and Ecology
Hyphomicrobium is a methylotrophic bacteria, widespread in freshwater,
marine and terrestrial habitates.

Photomicrographs of cells of

Spirillum volutans

Intestinal spirillum

Spirillum volutans

Spirosoma linguale

Purple bacteria
The genus Spirillum
includes only S. volutans
Spirillum volutans is a
large bacteria, microaerobic
Azospirillum lipoferum is a
nitrogen-fixing organism. It
can form a loose symbiotic
relationship with tropical
grasses and grain crops
Aquaspirillum magnetotacticum
has magnetotaxis ability

Auqasirillum magnetotacticum

contains particles of
Fe3O4 (magnetite)
called magnetosomes
arranged in a chain

Spirilla: Bdellovibrio

Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus

Spirilla: Bdellovibrio
Preying on other bacteria
Attack and develop intraperiplasmically
A wide variety of gram-negative bacteria
can be attacked by a single Bdellovibrio
Gram-positive cells are not attacked
Obligate aerobe, purple bacteria (delta

Spirilla: Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus

Developmental Cycle

Typically slender, flexuous, helical in shape, often rather long
Axial fibrils or axial filaments are attached to the cell poles and
wrapped around the coiled protoplasmic cylinder.
Both the axial fibrils and the protoplasmic cylinder are
surrounded by a three-layered membrane called the outer sheath
or outer cell envelope
Treponema pallidum
causes syphilis diseases

Spirochaeta stenostrepta

Spirochaeta plicatilis

Arrangement of the protoplasmic cylinder, axial fibrils, and external sheath
The manner in which the rotation of the rigid axial fibril can generate rotation.

Spirochaeta zuelzerae

Spirochetes: Classification
Six genera (based on habitat, pathogenicity, and morphological, physiological characteristics):
Treponema (Host in human, causes sexual disease syphilis)
Leptospira (L. Interrogans causes nephritis and jaundice)
Borrelia (B. recurrentis causes relapsing fever)


Morphology of Treponema saccharophilum

Treponema saccharophilum

Gliding Bacteria
No flagella but can move when in contact with surfaces
Gram-negative, purple bacteria, some are Bacteroides-Flavobacterium
Myxobacteria can form multicellular structures called fruiting bodies


Filamentou sulfur-oxidizing
bacteria in a small stream


Sulfur-oxidizing bacteria

Gliding Bacteria: Leucothrix

Chemoorganotrophic, requires both H2S and an organic compounds for growth
Form gonidia under unfavorable conditions
May aggregate to form rosette when gonidia have high concentration

Leucothrix mucor

Gliding Bacteria: Fruiting Myxobacteria

Myxococcus fulvus

Myxococcus stipitatus
Exhibit the most
complex behavioral
patterns and life
cycles of all known

Mellitangium erectum

Stigmatella aurantiaca

Chondromyces crocatus

Gliding Bacteria: Fruiting Myxobacterium

Have rather large
chromosome size
Rely on lysis of other
bacteria for nutritions
Myxospores are more
resistant to drying,
sonic vibration, UV
and heat.
Usually colored by
carotenoid pigments
Gliding myxobacterium
Stigmatella aurantiaca

Gliding Bacteria

Gliding Bacteria
Myxobacteria have distinct growth morphology
Myxococcus xanthus on agar

Myxococcus fulvus
slime tracks on agar

Fruiting body of
stigmatella aurantiaca

Gliding Bacteria
Fruiting body formation in Chondromyces crocatus
Early stage

Stalk formation

Three stages in head formation

Mature fruiting bodies

Sheathed Bacteria
Filamentous organisms with a unique life cycle involving formation
of flagellated swarmer cells within a long tube or sheath
Under unfavorable conditions, the swarmer cells move out and
become dispersed to new environments, leaving behind the empty

Active growth stage

Sphaerotilus natans
Swarmer cell

Swarmer cells leaving the sheath


Purple bacteria (Proteobacteria), gram-negative

Polar flagella, aerobic, grow at neutral pH mesophilically
Chemoorganotrophic, never show a fermentative metabolism
P. aeruginosa is opportunistic pathogen, some are plant pathogens

Pseudomonas have broad substrate

utilization, some produce polyhydroxybutyrate and some synthesize mediumchain-length polyhydroxyalkanoates,
have been studied in our lab

The Entner-Doudoroff pathway,

the major means of glucose catabolism
in pseudomonads

Free-Living Aerobic Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria

Large, gram-negative, obligately aerobic rods, capable of fixing N 2 nonsymbiotically
Azotobacter has the highest respiratory rate of any living organism (purple bacteria)
Azotobacter cells are very large, almost the size of yeasts, produce cysts

Azotobacter cysts have low
endogenous respiration and are
resistant to desiccation,
mechanical disintegration, and
UV as well as ionizing
however, they are not especially

Vegatative cells of Azotobacter vinelandii

Free-Living Aerobic Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria

Major genera: Azotobacter, Azomonas, Azospirillum
and Beijerinckia, Derxia
Derxia gummosa encased in slime

Colonies of Beijerinckia species growing on a carbohydrate-containing medium

Free-Living Aerobic Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria

Acid-tolerant, free-living N2-fixing Bacteria
Derxia gummosa

Beijerinckia indica

Acid-tolerant, free-living N2-fixing bacteria

Acetic Acid Bacteria

Purple bacteria, gram-negative, aerobic, motile rods, tolerance to low pH
Carry out incomplete oxidation of alcohols, leading to the accumulation of organic
acids as end products
With ethanol as a substrate, acetic acid is produced
Classified as Gluconobacter
Can carry out incomplete
oxidation of higher alcohol
and sugars:
Gluconic acid
Galactose Galactonic acid
Arabinose Arabonic acid
Ascobic acid
Acetobacter aceti on calcium carbonate agar
containing ethanol as energy source. The clearing
around the colonies due to the dissolution of calcium
carbonate by the acetic acid produced by the bacteria

Zymomonas and Chromobacterium

Facultatively aerobic gram-negative rods, beta purple bacteria
Chromobacterium violaceum produces a purple pigment violacein, a water-insoluble
pigment that has antibiotic properties and is produced only from tryptophan
Zymomonas carries out fermentation of sugar to ethanol, used in beverage industry.

Pigment violacein produced by

various species of the genus

A large colony of Chromobacterium violaceum

growing among other colonies on an agar plate

Vibrio and Related Genera

Gram-negative, facultatively aerobic rods and curved rods

that possess a fermentative metabolism
Most are aquatic.
The Group contains Vibrio, Aeromonas, Photobacterium and Plesiomonas
Some can emit light (luciferase luciferase), these are associated with fish.