RhodobacterDid we forget anything? Let us know

Genus nameRhodobacter
Alternative names
NCBI taxonomy ID1060

Taxonomy (MiDAS 2.0)


16S gene copy number1-4

 In situOther
Hydrophobic cell surface

Phase-contrast photomicrograph of vegetative cells. Bar, 2.5 microns. - Source:3

Aerobic heterotroph
Nitrite reduction
Proteins/Amino acids

POSNEGVariableNot assessed


Isolates of the genus have ovoid to short rod shaped cells, which tend to form chains in some species 4 5 6 7 8. SIP experiments suggest a possible role in denitrification 9, although their in situ physiology in activated sludge has not been determined. In pure culture their preferred metabolism is photoorganoheterotrophy 4. The genus is metabolically versatile as photoorganoheterotrophic, photolithoautotrophic, chemoheterotrophic and chemolithoautotrophic growth are all possible, however most Rhodobacter species are unable to grow autotrophically 4. Aerobic respiration is also possible, where pyruvate, succinate, lactate and other organic acids and sugars are usually used 4.

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FISH probes

G_Rb 1


 In situOther
Aerobic Heterotroph4
Nitrite Reduction3
Sulfate Reduction
Short-chain Fatty Acids68
Proteins/Amino Acids5711121315

Abundance Information

 10 % percentileMedian90 % percentile
Activated Sludge11.93.8

Predominant InActivated sludge


[1] Nielsen PH, Daims H, and Lemmer, H (2009) FISH Handbook for Biological Wastewater Treatment: Identification and quantification of microorganisms in activated sludge and biofilms by FISH. IWA Publishing Company - Nielsen Et Al 2009 -

[2] - NCBI genome database, NCBI id 1060 -

[3] Girija, Sasikala, Ramana, Spröer, Takaichi, Thiel, et al. (2010): Rhodobacter johrii sp. nov., an endospore-producing cryptic species isolated from semi-arid tropical soils. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 60 (Pt 9): 2099-107. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.011718-0

[4] Pujalte, M.J., Lucena, T., Ruvira, M.A., Arahal, D.R., Macian, M.C. (2014) In Rosenberg, E., DeLong, E.F., Lory, S., Stackedbrandt, E., and Thompson, F. The Prokaryotes: Alphaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria. The family Rhodobactericeae. Pp 447-451. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. - Pujalte Et Al 2014 -

[5] Hansen, T.A., and Imhoff, J.F. (1985) Rhodobacter veldkampii, a new species of phototrophic purple non- sulfur bacteria. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 35(1): 115-116. - Hansen And Imhoff 1985 -

[6] Venkata Ramana, Anil Kumar, Srinivas, Sasikala, Ramana (2009): Rhodobacter aestuarii sp. nov., a phototrophic alphaproteobacterium isolated from an estuarine environment. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 59 (Pt 5): 1133-6. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.004507-0

[7] Anil Kumar, Srinivas, Sasikala, Ramana (2007): Rhodobacter changlensis sp. nov., a psychrotolerant, phototrophic alphaproteobacterium from the Himalayas of India. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 57 (Pt 11): 2568-71. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.65110-0

[8] Venkata Ramana, Sasikala, Ramana (2008): Rhodobacter maris sp. nov., a phototrophic alphaproteobacterium isolated from a marine habitat of India. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 58 (Pt 7): 1719-22. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.65638-0

[9] Osaka, Yoshie, Tsuneda, Hirata, Iwami, Inamori, et al. (2006): Identification of acetate- or methanol-assimilating bacteria under nitrate-reducing conditions by stable-isotope probing. Microb. Ecol. 52 (2): 253-66. doi:10.1007/s00248-006-9071-7

[10] Wang, Liu, Zheng, Wang (2014): Paenirhodobacter enshiensis gen. nov., sp. nov., a non-photosynthetic bacterium isolated from soil, and emended descriptions of the genera Rhodobacter and Haematobacter. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 64 (Pt 2): 551-8. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.050351-0

[11] Srinivas, Kumar, Sasikala, Ramana, Imhoff (2007): Rhodobacter vinaykumarii sp. nov., a marine phototrophic alphaproteobacterium from tidal waters, and emended description of the genus Rhodobacter. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 57 (Pt 9): 1984-7. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.65077-0

[12] Srinivas, Anil Kumar, Sasikala, Spröer, Ramana (2008): Rhodobacter ovatus sp. nov., a phototrophic alphaproteobacterium isolated from a polluted pond. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 58 (Pt 6): 1379-83. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.65619-0

[13] Raj, Ramaprasad, Vaseef, Sasikala, Ramana (2013): Rhodobacter viridis sp. nov., a phototrophic bacterium isolated from mud of a stream. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 63 (Pt 1): 181-6. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.038471-0

[14] Imhoff, J.F. (2006) The phototrophic alpha-proteobacteria. In: E. Rosenberg., E. Stackebrandt., F. Thompson., S. Lory., E. De Long (eds). The Prokaryotes, vol 5, 3rd ed. Proteobacteria- alpha and beta subclasses, pp41-64. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. - Imhoff 2006 -

[15] Hiraishi, A., Muramatsu, K., Ueda, Y. (1996) Molecular genetic analyses of Rhodobacter azotoformans sp. nov. and related species of phototrophic bacteria. System. Appl. Microbiol. 19(2): 168-177. - Hiraishi Et Al 1996 -

[16] Greub, Raoult (2003): Rhodobacter massiliensis sp. nov., a new amoebae-resistant species isolated from the nose of a patient. Res. Microbiol. 154 (9): 631-5. doi:10.1016/j.resmic.2003.08.002

[17] Arunasri, Venkata Ramana, Spröer, Sasikala, Ramana (2008): Rhodobacter megalophilus sp. nov., a phototroph from the Indian Himalayas possessing a wide temperature range for growth. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 58 (Pt 8): 1792-6. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.65642-0

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