Brevibacterium ammoniilyticum

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Kingdom: Bacteria Phylum: Actinobacteria Order: Actinomycetales Suborder: Micrococcinea Family: Brevibacteriaceae Genus: Brevibacterium


NCBI: Taxonomy

Brevibacterium ammoniilyticum

Description and Significance

Brevibacterium ammoniilyticum is a gram positive aerobe that is non-spore forming, non-motile, and is a chemo-organotroph mesophile. The rod-cocci cycle contains rods that are 0.45-0.50µm wide, 0.80-1.20µm long and cocci that are 0.45-0.50µm wide, 0.55-0.65µm long.

This strain of bacteria was isolated from the sludge of a waste water treatment plant in Gwangiu-si, Kyeonggi-do, South Korea

The significance of Brevibacterium ammoniilyticum is its ability to break down ammonia and nitrate that is commonly found in the sludge of waste water.


Has a G+C content of 70.7 mol%. The 16S rRNA shows phyletic lineage in genus brevibacterium relating it to; Brevibacterium casei (96.9%), Brevibacterium celere (96.9%),Brevibacterium sanguinis (96.4%).

Cell Structure, Metabolism and Life Cycle

The lipid profile contaqins Diphosphatidylgygerol,Phosphatidylgrlycerol, and an unknown glycolipid. The cell wall is composed of a meso-diaminopimelic acid. The major fatty acids within the microbe are Iso-C15:0, anteiso-C15:0, anteiso-C17:0.

This species grew well on agar with methanol and ammonia. It has the ability to reduce nitrates into nitrites. It was able to degrade 55 mg/L of ammonia and 1875 mg/L of methanol in 12 hours out of 2500 mg/L of methanol and 80 mg/L of ammonia.

Ecology and Pathogenesis

Brevibacterium ammoniilyticum grow specifically in areas with NaCl conditions between 0-11%. It favored temperatures of 20-42 degrees Celsius but would not grown in temperatures lower than 15 degrees or greater than 45 degrees Celsius. Favored a pH range between 6-10 with the optimal range between 8.0-9.0. The colonies formed from these conditions are white/grayish, with the catalase being positive and the oxidase being negative.


Kim, J. Srinivasan, S. Lee, S. "Brevibacterium ammoniilyticum sp. nov., an ammonia-degrading bacterium isolated from sludge of a wastewater treatment plant" International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, June 22, 2012.


Page authored by Kevin Carlson and Charlie Connolly, student of Prof. Jay Lennon at Michigan State University.

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