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 Kazem Kashefi and Edward Walker at Michigan State University.

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