Flavobacterium marinum

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Flavobacterium marinum


The genus Flavobacterium is found in a variety of environments, including soil, fresh and saline acquatic systems, and arctic. The microbe Flavobacterium marinum was first isolated in a saltwater sample from the Indian Ocean.

Cell Structure and Metabolism

Single Cell Morphology

Single cell isolates of Flavobacterium marinum; bar 0.5µm

Flavobacterium marinum has a gram negative, rod shaped morphology. Cells are often found in singlets or pairs, and are not capable of gliding motility, endosporulation, or capsule formation. Each cell is approximately 0.5µm in diameter and 1.5µm in length.

Thin section of F. marinum cell

While the optimum temperature for growth is 35°C, Flavobacterium marinum is tolerant of temperatures between 15°C and 45°C. The optimal pH for growth is close to neutral conditions; however, F. marinum has been cultured between pH values of 5.5-8.5. This particular strain of Flavobacterium prefers saline environments, but is cultivable in freshwater systems.

Colonial Morphology

Aggregate colonies of Flavobacterium marinum appear as yellow, semiopaque structures, with a diameter measuring 1.5mm-2.0mm.

Metabolic Activity

F. marinum has been cultured successfully on LB (Luria-Bertani) broth, trypticase soy agar, as well as marine and nutrient agars. When tested, Flavobacterium marinum was positive for catalase and oxidase activities, negative for a variety of other metabolic tests, and was found to be incapable of reducing nitrate to nitrite.


Genome Structure



Original page and amendments were created by Andrew Fischer and Torrin McDonald, both students in Prof. Ned Walker's Microbial Ecology course at Michigan State University.