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A Microbial Biorealm page on the genus Ruminobacter


Higher order taxa:

Bacteria; Proteobacteria; Gammaproteobacteria; Aeromonadales; Succinivibrionaceae


Succinimonas amylolytica, S. dextrinosolvens, Ruminobacter amylophilus

NCBI: Succinimonas Succinivibrio Ruminobacter

Description and Significance

These are all Gram-negative bacteria. Ruminobacter once existed under the classification of Bacteroides amylophilus. It is difficult to cultivate and study these bacteria outside their host, the bovine rumen.

Genome Structure

Little is known about the genomes of these organisms, although they are important to the bovine digestion of plant material.

Cell Structure and Metabolism

Succinimonas are smooth and rod-shaped. They are motile. Succinivibrio are rod-shaped motile organisms with polar flagella. They have a curved spiral shape. Ruminobacter are rod-shaped. They are nonmotile. Cytochromes have not been detected in these organisms.

Succinimonas are anaerobic organisms that break down starch. Succinivibrio are anaerobic bacteria that ferment glucose. They obtains nitrogen through ammonia. Ruminobacter are anaerobic organisms. They utilize molecules such as maltose, maltodextrins, and starch for energy.

These organisms do not form spores. Their life cycle is typical of most bacteria, with reproduction by division.


These bacteria inhabit the rumen of cattle and sheep, playing an important role in the digestion process. They colonize their hosts soon after host organisms are born. They are sensitive to changes in diet, age, and environment. Strains of Succinimonas and Succinivibrio have been shown to cause disease, but they are rarely pathogenic in humans.


Anderson, Kevin L. "Biochemical Analysis of Starch Degradation by Ruminobacter amylophilus 70." Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Apr. 1995;61(4):1488–1491.

Hippe, Hans, Anja Hagelstein, Ina Kramer, Jolantha Swiderski and Erko Stackebrandt. "Phylogenetic analysis of Formivibrio citricus, Propionivibrio dicarboxylicus, Anaerobiospirillum thomasii, Succinimonas amylolytica and Succinivibrio dextrinosolvens and proposal of Succinivibrionaceae fam. nov." International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology (1999), 49, 779–782.

Kersters, Karel, Paul De Vos, Monique Gillis, Jean Swings, Peter Vandamme, and Erko Stackenbrandt. "Introduction to the Prokaryotes." The Prokaryotes. Accessed 20 July 2005.

Krause, D.O. and J.B. Russell. "How Many Ruminal Bacteria Are There?" Journal of dairy science. 1996 Aug;79(8):1467-75.

Patterson, John A. and Robert B. Hespell. "Glutamine Synthetase Activity in the Ruminal Bacterium Succinivibrio dextrinosolvens." Applied Environmental Microbiology. October 1985;50(4):1014-1020.

Porschen, Richard K. and Patrick Chan. "Anaerobic Vibrio-Like Organisms Cultured from Blood: Desulfovibrio desulfuricans and Succinivibrio Species." Journal of clinical microbiology. 1977 Apr;5(4):444-7.

Southern, PM Jr. Bacteremia due to Succinivibrio dextrinosolvens. Report of a case." American journal of clinical pathology. 1975 Oct;64(4):540-3.

Stackebrandt, Erko and Robert Hespell. "The Family Succinivibrionaceae." The Prokaryotes. Release 3.19. Accessed 19 July 2005.