CorynebacteriumDid we forget anything? Let us know

Genus nameCorynebacterium
Alternative namesCorynebacterium 1
NCBI taxonomy ID1716

Taxonomy (MiDAS 2.0)


16S gene copy number3-7

 In situOther
Hydrophobic cell surface12131415

Scanning electron microscopy of Corynebacterium glutamicum MG cells in phosphate-limiting continuous culture. 0.1 h -1 - Source:4

Aerobic heterotroph
Nitrite reduction

POSNEGVariableNot assessed


Corynebacterium are mycolic acid-containing actinomycetes and a member of the mycolata. Their association with highly hydrophobic members of this group, has implicated them as foamers in activated sludge, however this has not been shown for the genus 5. Species belonging to Corynebacterium are chemoorganotrophs with a fermentative metabolism 6. Growth for many species occurs under facultatively anaerobic conditions, however some may be strictly aerobic 6. Denitrification has been shown by some species in pure culture, with the ability to reduce NO3- to N2O via NO2- 7 8. Polyphosphate accumulation 9 4 and formation 10 has been demonstrated by some species under phosphate limiting conditions, however this has not been determined in situ. Similarly, glycogen accumulation has also been shown in C. glutamicum under phosphate limitation 4. Cell morphology of the genus is short to medium length rods, which may appear straight or slightly curved 6.

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FISH probes

Myc657 (Mycolata group-specific probe) 2; Mycobacterium complex probe, S-*-Myb-0736-a-A-22 1; Probe CGL 11


 In situOther
Aerobic Heterotroph6
Nitrite Reduction78
Sulfate Reduction
Short-chain Fatty Acids
Proteins/Amino Acids

Abundance Information

 10 % percentileMedian90 % percentile
Activated Sludge000.1

Predominant InInfluent


[1] de los Reyes, Ritter, Raskin (1997): Group-specific small-subunit rRNA hybridization probes to characterize filamentous foaming in activated sludge systems. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 63 (3): 1107-17.

[2] Davenport, Curtis, Goodfellow, Stainsby, Bingley (2000): Quantitative use of fluorescent in situ hybridization to examine relationships between mycolic acid-containing actinomycetes and foaming in activated sludge plants. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 66 (3): 1158-66.

[3] - NCBI genome database, NCBI id 1716 -

[4] Coello, N., Pan, J-G., and Lebeault, J.M. (1992) Corynebacterium glutamicum: morphological and ultrastructural changes of L-lysine producing cells in continuous culture. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 38: 34-38. - Coello Et Al 1992docx -

[5] Davenport, Pickering, Goodhead, Curtis (2008): A universal threshold concept for hydrophobic mycolata in activated sludge foaming. Water Res. 42 (13): 3446-54. doi:10.1016/j.watres.2008.02.033

[6] Tauch, A., and Sandbote, J. (2014) The family Corynebacteriaceae. In: E. Rosenberg., E.F. DeLong., S. Lory., E. Stackebrandt., F. Thompson. The Prokaryotes: Actinobacteria. Pp. 239-277. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. - Tauch And Sandbote 2014docx -

[7] Mahne, Tiedje (1995): Criteria and methodology for identifying respiratory denitrifiers. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 61 (3): 1110-5.

[8] Merzouki, Delgenes, Bernet, Moletta, Benlemlih (1999): Polyphosphate-accumulating and denitrifying bacteria isolated from anaerobic-anoxic and anaerobic-aerobic sequencing batch reactors Curr. Microbiol. 38 (1): 9-17.

[9] Harold (1966): Inorganic polyphosphates in biology: structure, metabolism, and function. Bacteriol Rev 30 (4): 772-94.

[10] Klauth, Pallerla, Vidaurre, Ralfs, Wendisch, Schoberth, et al. (2006): Determination of soluble and granular inorganic polyphosphate in Corynebacterium glutamicum. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 72 (5): 1099-106. doi:10.1007/s00253-006-0562-8

[11] Roller, Wagner, Amann, Ludwig, Schleifer (1995): In situ probing of gram-positive bacteria with high DNA G+C content using 23S rRNA-targeted oligonucleotides. Microbiology (Reading, Engl.) 141 ( Pt 5) (): 1267. doi:10.1099/13500872-141-5-1267

[12] Bendinger, Rijnaarts, Altendorf, Zehnder (1993): Physicochemical cell surface and adhesive properties of coryneform bacteria related to the presence and chain length of mycolic acids. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 59 (11): 3973-7.

[13] Mattos-Guaraldi, Formiga, Andrade (1999): Cell surface hydrophobicity of sucrose fermenting and nonfermenting Corynebacterium diphtheriae strains evaluated by different methods. Curr. Microbiol. 38 (1): 37-42.

[14] Bouchez-Naïtali, Rakatozafy, Marchal, Leveau, Vandecasteele (1999): Diversity of bacterial strains degrading hexadecane in relation to the mode of substrate uptake. J. Appl. Microbiol. 86 (3): 421-8.

[15] Gomes, Peixoto, Barbosa, Napoleão, Sabbadini, dos Santos, et al. (2013): SubMICs of penicillin and erythromycin enhance biofilm formation and hydrophobicity of Corynebacterium diphtheriae strains. J. Med. Microbiol. 62 (Pt 5): 754-60. doi:10.1099/jmm.0.052373-0

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