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Bacteria; Firmicutes; Bacilli (or Firmibacteria); Lactobacillales; Carnobacteriaceae; Carnobacterium


Carnobacterium alterfunditum

Carnobacterium divergens

Carnobacterium funditum

Carnobacterium gallinarum

Carnobacterium iners

Carnobacterium inhibens

Carnobacterium jeotgali

Carnobacterium maltaromaticum

Carnobacterium piscicola

Carnobacterium mobile

Carnobacterium pleistocenium

Carnobacterium viridans

  • Please note this is not an exhaustive list.

Description and Significance

Carnobacterium are rod-shaped lactic acid bacteria. Although they are lactic acid bacteria, they grow in a PH of 9 and do not tolerate a low PH very well. Most of the species produce lactic acid through various processes. Identifying Carnobacterium is easiest using 16S-23S rDNA ISRs that gives species specific primers that are helpful in distinguishing eight of the Carnobacterium species ( C. divergens, C. mobile, C. funditum, C. alterfun-ditum, C. inhibens, C. viridans, C. gallinarum and C. piscicola) using PCR identification. The presence of Carnobacterium can be found in seawater as well as dairy, fish, & meat products. They can also be found in polar regions and cold environments. Carnobacterium include the psycrophilic anaerobic species C. maltaromaticum, C. divergens & C. pleistocenium. Certain species have preservative qualities of meat products. Some are also attributed to meat spoilage. C. pleistocenium has been found in a permafrost tunnel in Fox, Alaska. The ice dates back to the Pleistocene Epoch (1.8 Ma to 11,000 years ago).

Genome Structure

Describe the size and content of the genome. How many chromosomes? Circular or linear? Other interesting features? What is known about its sequence?

Cell Structure, Metabolism and Life Cycle

Interesting features of cell structure; how it gains energy; what important molecules it produces. C. divergens & C. maltaromaticum have properties that make them preservative-like. Several strains of C. maltaromaticum have been FDA approved to be used as a preservative in processed, ready to eat meat products.

Ecology and Pathogenesis

Habitat; symbiosis; biogeochemical significance; contributions to environment.
If relevant, how does this organism cause disease? Human, animal, plant hosts? Virulence factors, as well as patient symptoms.


Benson DA, Karsch-Mizrachi I, Lipman DJ, Ostell J, Sayers EW (2009). GenBank. Nucleic Acids Res. 2009 Jan;37(Database issue):D26-31. Epub 2008 Oct 21. [PubMed]

Collins M.D, Farow J.A.E, Philips B.A, Ferusu S., Jones D. "Classification of Lactobacillus divergens, Lactobacillus piscicola and some catalase-negative, asporogenous, rod-shaped bacteria from poultry in a new genus Carnobacterium" International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology, 37 (1987), pp. 310–316

Joborn A., Dorsch M., Christer O.J., Westerdahl A. & Kjelleberg S. (1999) Carnobacterium inhibens sp. nov., isolated from the intestine of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology 49, 1891–1898

Leisner J. J., Laursen B. G., Prevost H., Drider D., Dalgaard P. 2007. "Carnobacterium: positive and negative effects in the environment and in foods." FEMS Microbiol. Rev. 31, 592–613

Manchester, L., Lai, S., and Goodacre, R. "Whole-organism Fingerprinting of the Genus Carnobacterium using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR)". Systematic and Applied Microbiology . 2004. Volume 27. p. 186-191.

De Vos P., et al. 2009. Bergey's manual of systematic bacteriology, vol. 3 The Firmicutes, p. 555. Springer, New York, NY.

Rachman C, Kabadjova P, Valcheva R, Prévost H & Dousset X (2004) Identification of Carnobacterium species by restriction fragment length polymorphism of the 16S–23S rRNA gene intergenic spacer region and species-specific PCR. Appl Environ Microbiol 70: 4468–4477.

Sayers EW, Barrett T, Benson DA, Bryant SH, Canese K, Chetvernin V, Church DM, DiCuccio M, Edgar R, Federhen S, Feolo M, Geer LY, Helmberg W, Kapustin Y, Landsman D, Lipman DJ, Madden TL, Maglott DR, Miller V, Mizrachi I, Ostell J, Pruitt KD, Schuler GD, Sequeira E, Sherry ST, Shumway M, Sirotkin K, Souvorov A, Starchenko G, Tatusova TA, Wagner L, Yaschenko E, Ye J (2009). Database resources of the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Nucleic Acids Res. 2009 Jan;37(Database issue):D5-15. Epub 2008 Oct 21. [PubMed]


Page authored by Heather Moule , student of Dr. Walker & Dr. Kashefi at Michigan State University.