Tenacibaculum aiptasiae

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Higher order taxa

Domain: Bacteria

Phylum: Bacteroidetes
Class: Flavobacteriia
Order: Flavobacteriales
Family: Flavobacteriaceae
Genus: Tenacibaculum


Tenacibaculum aiptasiae

Description and Morphology

The genus Tenacibaculum currently contains nine species, all of the family Flavobacteriaceae. Species in this family are generally gram negative, yellow pigmented, non-spore forming, and rod-shaped. Based on phenotypic and genotypic similarities of a novel taxon and species of the Flavobacteriaceae, Wang et al. proposed the classification in the genus Tenacibaculum with the species name aiptasiae.

Tenacibaculum aiptasiae, strain a4T, is a gram-negative rod-shaped bacterium that is pale-yellow pigmented and grows under aerobic conditions. The rods measure 0.4-0.6 μm in width and 2.0-7.0 μm in length. The cells are clearly much longer than they are wide and appear as straight rods. Although non-flagellated, Tenacibaculum aiptasiae is motile by gliding.

Habitat and Isolation

Tenacibaculum aiptasiae, strain a4T, was isolated from a diseased sea anemone of which its species name was derived. Aiptasia pulchella is the sea anemone that is found in tropical and subtropical regions of the Pacific Ocean. Tenacibaculum aiptasiae is easily cultured in the laboratory under the optimum conditions at pH 8.0, temperatures from 30-35°C, and 3-4% NaCl.

Relation to Other Taxa

In a table from the study on Tenacibaculum aiptasiae by Wang et al. there is data showing the comparison between strain a4T and 9 other Tenacibaculum species. The species Tenacibaculum maritimum shares common characteristics with strain a4T such as color and gliding motility. Tenacibaculum maritimum was isolated from a diseased Red Sea bream and is studied because it is a causative agent to an ulcerative disease in marine fish, known as tenacibaculosis. Interestingly, the phylogenetic tree formulated by Wang et al. indicates that Tenacibaculum aiptasiae is a descendent of Tenacibaculum maritimum; both species isolated from diseased hosts. However, the placement of Tenacibaculum maritimum is not confidently supported by a high bootstrap value. This same study showed that the phylogeny of Tenacibaculum aiptasiae is most closely related to Tenacibaculum lutimaris and Tenacibaculum aestuarii.


Wang, J., Chou, Y., Chou, J., Chen, C., and Chen, W. 2008. “Tenacibaculum aiptasiae sp. nov., isolated from a sea anemone Aiptasia pulchella”. Int J Sys Evol Microbiol. 58: p761-766.

Herrera, R., Toranzo, A., Marginos, B. 2006. “Tenacibaculosis infection in marine fish caused by Tenacibaculum maritimum: a review”. Dis Aquat Org. Vol. 71: p255-266.

Edited by (Tori Legere), student of Rachel Larsen at the University of Southern Maine