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A Microbial Biorealm page on the genus Desulfobacter



Morphology of strain Desulfobacter B54T (A) micrograph of cells.Bar, 10 mm. (B and C) Electron micrographs of one cell. Bars, 2 mm.

Higher order taxa:

Bacteria; Proteobacteria; delta/epsilon subdivisions; Deltaproteobacteria; Desulfobacterales; Desulfobacteraceae


NCBI: Taxonomy Genome

D. postgatei, D. hydrogenophilus, D. latus, and D. curvatus

Description and Significance

Desulfobacter is a mesophilic gram-negative genera that is capable of oxidizing organic substrate completely to CO2 in anoxic codition. Desulfobacter is mainly found in brackish and marine environemnt and has a oval or vibrio morphology [2]. The genus desulfobacter includes acetateutelizing sulphate-reducing bacteria. 10 Methyl 16:0 is an unusual bacterial phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) characteristic of Desulfobacter-type sulphate-reducing bacteria and could be used as a biomarker for these bacteria [3,4].


Micobiological and molecular studies have suggested the presence of different sulfate reducing bacteria (SBR)in oxic and anoxic layers of soil profile. Dsulfobater, Desulfobulbus and desulfotomoculum species were detected in restricly anoxic conition while Desulfococcus, Desolfonema, and Desulfovibrio species appear to be perdominantly in oxic layers [5]. The main habitat of Desulfobacter is marine sendiment and brackish water.


[1] Torleiv Lien and Janiche Beeder. 1997.Desulfobacter vibrioformis sp. nov., a Sulfate Reducer from a Water-Oil Separation System. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SYSTEMATIC BACTERIOLOGY. Oct., p. 1124–1128

[2] Lary L. Barton Biotechnology handbooks. Vol. 8-Sulfate reducing bacteria. 1995 Plenum Press, New York.

[3] Dowling, N.J., Widdel, F. and White, D.C. (1986) Comparison of the phospholipid ester-linked fatty acid biomarkers of acetate-oxidising sulphate-reducers and other sulphide-forming bacteria. J. Gen. Microbiol. 132,1815-1825.

[4] Dowling, N.J., Nichols, P.D. and White, D.C. (1988)Phospholipid fatty acid and infra-red spectroscopic analysis of a sulfate-reducing consortium. FEMS Microbiol.Ecol. 53, 325-334.

[5] Barton, Larry L. and W. Allen Hamilton. 2007. Sulphate reducing Bacteria Wnvironmental and Engineering system. 1st ed. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, UK.

Edited by students of Kate Scow