Cross Index Vitreoscilla
SuperSet Prokaryote, Eubacteria Glidng Bacteria
Compare Cytophagales, Beggiatoales

Single Celled, rod shaped Capnocytophaga, Chitinophaga pinensis , Cytophaga, Flexibacter, Flexithrix dorotheae, Lysobacter, Microscilla, Sporocytophaga myxococcoides, Thermomena,
Flattened, filamentous Gliding: Alysiella filiformis, Simonsiella,
Sulfur oxidizing,Gliding: Achromatium, Beggiatoa alba, Thioploca, Thiospirillopsis floridana, Thiothrix nivea,
The Pelonemas: Achroanema spp, Desmanthos thiorenophilum, Pelenema, Peloploca,
Other Genera: Agitococcus lubricus , Desulfonema Herpetosiphon, Isosphaera pallida, Leucothrix mucor, Saprospira, Toxothrix trichogenes,Vitreoscilla

Contrast Archaea


Morphology Vitreoscilla
Staining Gram-negative
Morphology Organisms exist in colourless filaments, which contain cells with diameters of 1 to about 3 um and lengths of 1-12 um; cells may be clearly delimited and barrel-shaped or may be undelimited and cylindrical (similar to Beggiatoa). Filaments may contain from 1 to > 40 cells
Motility Motile by gliding; no locomotor organelles known.
Specialized structures Cell division is by transverse binary fission; dispersion is by fragmentation of filaments or by sacrificial cell death and necridia formation in species similar to the beggiatoas. Resting stages are now known.Sheaths or holdfasts are not produced
Solid surface  


Growth Parameters Vitreoscilla
Tropism Chemoorganotrophs
Oxygen Aerobic to microaerophilic. Metabolism is respiratory with molecular oxygen as sole known terminal electron acceptor.
Requirements Nutritional requirements vary among species, with the simplest organic requirement being acetate as sole carbon and energy sources and with the more complex requirements being for groups of amino acids
Products Sulfur inclusions are not formed from hydrogen sulfide or thiosulfate
Unique features Cell walls of V. stercoraria are composed of the amino acids alanine, glutamate, and diaminopimelic acid with approximate molar ratios of 2:1:1

The larger Vitreoscilla species show similarities to certain Beggiatoa strains, with the exception to their inability to deposit sulfur when exposed to hydrogen sulfide.



Genome Vitreoscilla
G+C Mol % 42 (Tm, Bd) - 63(Tm)


Reference Vitreoscilla
First citation Pringsheim,E.G. 1949 The relationship between bacteria and the Myxophyceae Bacteriol Rev 13: 47-91 (see page 70)
The Prokaryotes  
Bergey's Systematatic p 2124 Wm R. Strohl
Bergey's Determinative p 499
References Pringsheim, E.G. 1951 The Vitreoscillaceae: a family of colourless, gliding, filamentous organisms J.Gen Microbiol 5: 124-149

Pringsheim,E.G. 1949 Iron bacteria. Biol Rev. Cambridge Philos. Soc. 24:200-245
Pringsheim,E.G. 1949 The filamentous bacteria Sphaerotilus, Leptothrix, Cladothrix and their relation to iron and manganese. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London Ser B 223:453-482