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Chapter: Essential Microbiology: Procaryote Diversity

Phylum Aquificae and phylum Thermotogae: the deeply branching bacteria

These two phyla are regarded as the two deepest (= oldest) branches in the evolution of the Bacteria and both comprise highly thermophilic Gram-negative rods.

Phylum Aquificae and phylum Thermotogae: the deeply branching bacteria

These two phyla are regarded as the two deepest (= oldest) branches in the evolution of the Bacteria and both comprise highly thermophilic Gram-negative rods. They are the only members of the Bacteria that can compare with the Archaea in their ability to live at high temperatures (optimal growth >80 C). The two phyla differ in their mode of nutrition: the Aquificae are autotrophs capable of oxidising hydrogen or sul-phur, while the Thermotogae are anaerobic heterotrophs, fermenting carbohydrates.


Members of the Thermotogae are characteristically surrounded, sometimes in a chain, by a proteinaceous sheath (or ‘toga’).

Representative genera: Aquifex (phylum Aquificae), Thermotoga (phylum Thermoto-gae)


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Essential Microbiology: Procaryote Diversity : Phylum Aquificae and phylum Thermotogae: the deeply branching bacteria |


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