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Firmicutes
Bacillus subtilis, Gram stained
Scientific classification
Domain: Bacteria
Phylum: Firmicutes
Classes

Bacilli
Clostridia

The Firmicutes (Latin: firmus, strong, and cutis, skin, referring to the cell wall) are a phylum of bacteria, most of which have Gram-positive cell wall structure.[1] A few however, such as Megasphaera, Pectinatus, Selenomonas, and Zymophilus, have a porous pseudo-outer-membrane that causes them to stain Gram-negative. Scientists once classified the Firmicutes to include all Gram-positive bacteria, but have recently defined them to be of a core group of related forms called the low-G+C group, in contrast to the Actinobacteria. They have round cells, called cocci (singular coccus), or rod-shaped forms.

Many Firmicutes produce endospores, which are resistant to desiccation and can survive extreme conditions. They are found in various environments, and the group includes some notable pathogens. Those in one family, the heliobacteria, produce energy through photosynthesis. Firmicutes play an important role in beer, wine, and cider spoilage.

Contents

Classes

Genera

While there are currently more than 274 genera within the Firmicutes phylum, notable genera of Firmicutes include:

Bacilli, order Bacillales

Bacilli, order Lactobacillales

Clostridia

  • Acetobacterium
  • Clostridium
  • Eubacterium
  • Heliobacterium
  • Heliospirillum
  • Megasphaera
  • Pectinatus
  • Selenomonas
  • Zymophilus
  • Sporomusa

Erysipelotrichi

Health implications

The division Firmicutes as part of the gut flora has been shown to be involved in energy resorption and obesity.[2][3][4]

Laboratory detection

While there has up to this point in time not been a way to categorically define a given bacterium as belonging to Firmicutes, as the phylum is highly diverse in phenotypic characteristics due to promiscuous plasmid exchange across species and genera of this phyla, the presence of Firmicutes can now be detected by real-time PCR using the methodologies recently described.[5]

References

  1. ^ Firmicutes at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  2. ^ Ley RE, Turnbaugh PJ, Klein S, Gordon JI. Microbial ecology: human gut microbes associated with obesity. Nature. 2006 Dec 21;444(7122):1022-3.
  3. ^ Henig, Robin Marantz (2006-08-13). "Fat Factors". New York Times Magazine. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/13/magazine/13obesity.html?pagewanted=3&ei=5070&en=0c39c5880e4d7067&ex=1166850000. Retrieved 2008-09-28.  
  4. ^ Ley RE, Bäckhed F, Turnbaugh P, Lozupone CA, Knight RD, Gordon JI (August 2005). "Obesity alters gut microbial ecology". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 102 (31): 11070–5. doi:10.1073/pnas.0504978102. PMID 16033867. PMC 1176910. http://www.pnas.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=16033867. Retrieved 2008-09-28.  
  5. ^ Haakensen M, Dobson CM, Deneer H, Ziola B (July 2008). "Real-time PCR detection of bacteria belonging to the Firmicutes Phylum". Int. J. Food Microbiol. 125 (3): 236–41. doi:10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2008.04.002. PMID 18501458. http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0168-1605(08)00167-0. Retrieved 2008-09-28.  
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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

Translingual

Etymology

Proper noun

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Firmicutes

  1. a taxonomic phylum, within kingdom Bacteria - very many bacteria, mostly gram-positive
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See also


Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Taxonavigation

Main Page
Superregnum: Bacteria
Regnum: Bacteria
Phylum: Firmicutes
Classes: Bacilli - Clostridia - Mollicutes


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