Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus

From MicrobeWiki, the student-edited microbiology resource

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 free living and mobile phase.(2) The attack phase is when it attaches to another gram negative bacteria and imbeds itself into its periplasm, it then procedes to grow and replicate itself by degrading the host bacterium from the inside out.(1) In the free living and mobile phase, "Bdellovibrios" move about in search of host or prey bacteria so it can intiate attack phase again.(2) Each of these phases are of interest to researchers because it reveals unique cell-cell interactions and unusual cell metabolism.(1)

"Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus" is a small, curved, and highly motile gram negative bacteria approximately 0.2 to 0.5 Am wide and 0.5 to 2.5 Am long.(3)

Genome structure

Cell structure and metabolism



Application to Biotechnology

Current Research


Edited by student of Rachel Larsen and Hiu Cheng