Query: NC_006177:3549467 Symbiobacterium thermophilum IAM 14863, complete genome Lineage: Symbiobacterium thermophilum; Symbiobacterium; Shewanellaceae; Clostridiales; Firmicutes; Bacteria General Information: This symbiotic and thermophilic bacterium was discovered by screening for thermostable tryptanophases in Japanese compost. Cultured growth of this organism requires the presence of another bacterial species, such as a Bacillus or Escherichia coli, which provides diffusable metabolites required for its growth. Pure cultures can be obtained by growing Symbiobacterium thermophilum in a bioreactor, separated from its symbiotic counterpart by a dialysis membrane. Because of its symbiotic nature, it cannot be cultured with conventional methods. Despite a negative reaction for gram stain, this species is placed with the gram-positive bacteria based on 16s phylogenetic analysis.
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General Information: This organism is found in adult humans and formula fed infants as a normal component of gut flora. Representatives of this genus naturally colonize the human gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and are important for establishing and maintaining homeostasis of the intestinal ecosystem to allow for normal digestion. Their presence has been associated with beneficial health effects, such as prevention of diarrhea, amelioration of lactose intolerance, or immunomodulation. The stabilizing effect on GIT microflora is attributed to the capacity of bifidobacteria to produce bacteriocins, which are bacteriostatic agents with a broad spectrum of action, and to their pH-reducing activity. Most of the ~30 known species of bifidobacteria have been isolated from the mammalian GIT, and some from the vaginal and oral cavity. All are obligate anaerobes belonging to the Actinomycetales, branch of Gram-positive bacteria with high GC content that also includes Corynebacteria, Mycobacteria, and Streptomycetes.