Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus

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A Microbial Biorealm page on the genus Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus


Higher order taxa

Bacteria; Proteobacteria; Deltaproteobacteria; Bdellovibrionales; Bdellovibrionaceae; Bdellovibrio


Bdellovibro bacteriovous

NCBI: TaxonomyGenome

Description and significance

"Bdellovibrios" were discovered by Stolp and Petzhold in 1962, in an attempt to isolate bacteriophage from soil samples. Stolp and Petzhold observed unique plaques in their samples that took several days to develop and continued to grow for over a week, instead of plaques caused by bacteriophages that would appear within hours. A closer inspection of the plaques under a light microscope revealed cells that were small, highly motile, and vibrio-shaped. These cells were "Bdellovibrios".

After the discovery of "Bdellovibrios" further observations revealed many interesting and unique properties. One property that makes "Bdellovibrios" interesting is that it is a parasite to other gram negative bacterias. "Bdellovibrios" have biphasic life-cycles that include an attack phase and a growth phase. The attack phase is when it actively seeks other gram negative bacteria and imbeds itself into its periplasm, while the growth phase is when it grows and replicates by degrading the host bacterium from the inside out. Each of these phases are of interest to researchers because it reveals unique cell-cell interactions and unusual cell metabolism. (1)

Genome structure

Cell structure and metabolism



Application to Biotechnology

Current Research


Edited by student of Rachel Larsen and Hiu Cheng