The Prokaryotes pp 3171-3180 | Cite as

The Genus Beggiatoa

  • Douglas C. Nelson


The genus Beggiatoa is currently represented by a single defined species Beggiatoa alba (Strohl, 1989). However, this species designation is commonly used for any colorless, filamentous, gliding bacterium that deposits internal globules of elemental sulfur but does not form bundles of trichomes within a common sheath. Organisms with a variety of filament widths, ranging from 1–120 gm, have been observed in native material and are assumed to belong to this genus (Jorgensen, 1977; Klas, 1937; Nelson et al., 1989b), but a single phylogenetic affinity group is by no means proven. Beggiatoa is of historical importance because Winogradsky’s (1887) earliest experiments, which ultimately led to development of the concept of bacterial chemoautotrophy, were performed with natural enrichments of this organism (see Brock and Schlegel, 1989).


Hydrogen Sulfide Purple Sulfur Bacterium Autotrophic Bacterium Marine Strain Gradient Medium 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

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  • Douglas C. Nelson

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