Heliothrix Oregonensis, Gen. Nov., Sp. Nov., a Phototrophic Filamentous Gliding Bacterium Containing Bacteriochlorophyll A

Arch Microbiol. 1985 Jul;142(2):164-7. doi: 10.1007/BF00447061.


An unusual filamentous, gliding bacterium was found in a few hot springs in Oregon where it formed a nearly unispecific top layer of microbial mats. It contained a bacteriochlorophyll a-like pigment and an abundance of carotenoids. There were no chlorosomes or additional chlorophylls. The organism was aerotolerant and appeared to be photoheterotrophic. It was successfully co-cultured with an aerobic chemoheterotroph in a medium containing glucose and casamino acids. Although it has many characteristics in common with the genus Chloroflexus, the lack of chlorosomes and bacteriochlorophyll c and the aerobic nature of this organism indicate that it should be placed in a new genus. This conclusion is supported by 5S rRNA nucleotide sequence data.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / analysis
  • Bacteria / classification*
  • Bacteria / cytology
  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena
  • Bacteriochlorophylls / analysis*
  • Base Sequence
  • Carotenoids / analysis
  • Chlorophyll / analogs & derivatives*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • RNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Ribosomal
  • Terminology as Topic
  • Water Microbiology


  • Bacteriochlorophylls
  • RNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Ribosomal
  • Chlorophyll
  • Carotenoids