The Prokaryotes pp 4082-4088 | Cite as

The Genus Gallionella

  • Hans H. Hanert


The bacteria of the genus Gallionella belong to the so-called “iron bacteria,” which achieved their theoretical importance after Winogradsky (1888, 1922) postulated his conception of chemolithotrophy for these organisms. These bacteria also have practical significance since they clog drains, water pipes, and wells with deposits of iron oxide compounds. In connection with freshwater supply problems and the rapid growth of agriculture, hydrotechnicians and land-reclamation (underground drainage) specialists have become increasingly interested in bacterial iron oxidation as a common source of interference with wells and drainage systems (Ford, 1978; Hanert, 1974b; Khrutskaya, 1970; Martin et al., 1978). Iron bacteria are also interesting for ecological and biogeochemical reasons. Like algae, iron bacteria may develop in their natural habitats in such masses that the idea of their participation in the sedimentary formation of iron ore is plausible, as was recognized in the first description of the iron bacterium Gallionella ferruginea (Ehrenberg, 1836).


Mineral Medium Iron Phosphate Sodium Sulfide Iron Bacterium Underground Drainage 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

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  • Hans H. Hanert

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