Query: NC_014039:334892 Propionibacterium acnes SK137 chromosome, complete genome Lineage: Propionibacterium acnes; Propionibacterium; Propionibacteriaceae; Actinomycetales; Actinobacteria; Bacteria General Information: This bacterium is the most common gram-positive, non-spore forming, anaerobic rod encountered in clinical specimens. The causative agent of acne, it typically grows as an obligate anaerobe. Some strains are aerotolerant, but still show better growth as an anaerobe. It has the ability to produce propionic acid, as its name suggests. It also has the ability to produce catalase along with indole, nitrate, or both indole and nitrate. Propionibacterium resembles Corynebacterium in morphology and arrangement, but is non-toxigenic. It is a common resident of the pilosebaceous (hair follicle) glands of the human skin. The bacteria release lipases to digest a surplus of the skin oil, sebum, that has been produced. The combination of digestive products (fatty acids) and bacterial antigens stimulates an intense local inflammation that bursts the hair follicle. Since acne is caused in part from an infection, it can be suppressed with topical and oral antibiotics such as clindamycin, erythromycin, or tetracycline.
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General Information: This organism was first isolated from the soil in Vineland, New Jersey, although it is found worldwide. It is a large obligate aerobe that has one of the highest respiratory rates of any organism. Azotobacter vinelandii also produces a number of unusual nitrogenases which allow it to fix atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia, a compound it can then use as a nitrogen source. It protects the oxygen-sensitive nitrogenase enzymes through its high respiratory rate, which sequesters the nitrogenase complexes in an anoxic environment. This organism has a number of unusual characteristics. Under extreme environmental conditions, the cell will produce a cyst that is resistant to dessication and is surrounded by two capsular polysaccharide layers. This organism produces two industrially important polysaccharides, poly-beta-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) and alginate. PHB is a thermoplastic biopolymer, and alginate is used in the food industry. Alginate is also used by the pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa to infect the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients.