Harman Patil (Editor)

Green sulfur bacteria

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Domain  bacteria
Higher classification  Chlorobiales
Scientific name  Chlorobi
Rank  family
A green sulfur bacteria inside a container.

Phylum  ChlorobiIino et al. 2010
Similar  Chlorobium, Purple sulfur bacteria, Chlorobium tepidum, Chloroflexi, Acidobacteria

Comparison of electron flow in purple and green sulfur bacteria

The green sulfur bacteria (Chlorobiaceae) are a family of obligately anaerobic photoautotrophic Bacteria. Together with the non-photosynthetic Ignavibacteriaceae, they form the phylum Chlorobi. Most closely related to the distant Bacteroidetes, they are accordingly assigned their own phylum.


Green sulfur bacteria are nonmotile (except Chloroherpeton thalassium, which may glide). Photosynthesis is achieved using a Type 1 reaction centre using bacteriochlorophyll (BChl) a and in chlorosomes which employ BChl c, d, or e; in addition chlorophyll a is also present. They use sulfide ions, hydrogen or ferrous iron as an electron donor and the process is mediated by the type I reaction centre and Fenna-Matthews-Olson complex. Elemental sulfur deposited outside the cell may be further oxidized. By contrast, the photosynthesis in plants uses water as the electron donor and produces oxygen.

A purple and green sulfur bacteria.

Chlorobium tepidum has emerged as a model organism for the group; although only 10 genomes have been sequenced, these are quite comprehensive of the family's biodiversity. Their 2-3 Mb genomes encode 1750-2800 genes, 1400-1500 of which are common to all strains. The apparent absence of two-component histidine-kinases and response regulators suggest limited phenotypic plasticity. Their small dependence on organic molecule transporters and transcription factors also indicate these organisms are adapted to a narrow range of energy-limited conditions, an ecology shared with the simpler cyanobacteria, Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus.

Chlorobium green sulphur bacteria

A species of green sulfur bacteria has been found living near a black smoker off the coast of Mexico at a depth of 2,500 m in the Pacific Ocean. At this depth, the bacterium, designated GSB1, lives off the dim glow of the thermal vent since no sunlight can penetrate to that depth.

Poster about Chlorobium tepidum

Green sulfur bacteria appear in Lake Matano, Indonesia, at a depth of about 110–120 m. The population may include the species Chlorobium ferrooxidans.

Phylum chlorobi, composed of green sulfur bacteria that are categorized as photolithotrophic oxidizers of sulfur.


The currently accepted phylogeny is based on 16S rRNA-based LTP release 123 by The All-Species Living Tree Project.


The currently accepted taxonomy is based on the List of Prokaryotic names with Standing in Nomenclature (LSPN)

A green sulfur bacteria.

  • Phylum Chlorobi Iino et al. 2010
  • Class Ignavibacteria Iino et al. 2010
  • Order Ignavibacteriales Iino et al. 2010
  • Family Ignavibacteriaceae Iino et al. 2010
  • Genus Ignavibacterium Iino et al. 2010 emend. Podosokorskaya et al. 2013
  • Species Ignavibacterium album Iino et al. 2010 emend. Podosokorskaya et al. 2013
  • Genus Melioribacter roseus Podosokorskaya et al. 2013 ["Melioribacter" Podosokorskaya et al. 2011]
  • Species Melioribacter roseus Podosokorskaya et al. 2011 ["Melioribacter roseus" Podosokorskaya et al. 2011]
  • Class Chlorobea Cavalier-Smith 2002
  • Order Chlorobiales Gibbons and Murray 1978
  • Family Chlorobiaceae Copeland 1956
  • Genus Ancalochloris Gorlenko and Lebedeva 1971
  • Species Ancalochloris perfilieviiGorlenko and Lebedeva 1971
  • Genus Chlorobaculum Imhoff 2003
  • Species "C. macestae" ♠ Keppen et al. 2008
  • Species C. limnaeum Imhoff 2003
  • Species C. parvum Imhoff 2003
  • Species C. tepidum (Wahlund et al. 1996) Imhoff 2003 (type sp.) ["Chlorobium tepidum" Wahlund et al. 1991; Chlorobium tepidum Wahlund et al. 1996]
  • Species C. thiosulfatiphilum Imhoff 2003 ["Chlorobium limicola f. sp. thiosulfatophilum" (Larsen 1952) Pfennig & Truper 1971]
  • Genus Chlorobium Nadson 1906 emend. Imhoff 2003
  • Species Chlorobium chlorovibrioides(Gorlenko et al. 1974) Imhoff 2003
  • Species C. bathyomarinumBeatty et al. 2005
  • Species C. chlorochromatiiVogl et al. 2006 (epibiont of the phototrophic consortium Chlorochromatium aggregatum) ["Chlorobium chlorochromatii" Meschner 1957]
  • Species C. gokarnaAnil Kumar 2005
  • Species C. clathratiforme (Szafer 1911) emend. Imhoff 2003 ["Aphanothece clathratiformis" Szafer 1911; "Pelodictyon lauterbornii" Geitler 1925; Pelodictyon clathratiforme (Szafer 1911) Lauterborn 1913]
  • Species C. ferrooxidans Heising et al. 1998 emend. Imhoff 2003
  • Species C. luteolum (Schmidle 1901) emend. Imhoff 2003 ["Aphanothece luteola" Schmidle 1901; "Pelodictyon aggregatum" Perfil'ev 1914; "Schmidlea luteola" (Schmidle 1901) Lauterborn 1913; Pelodictyon luteolum (Schmidle 1901) Pfennig and Truper 1971]
  • Species C. limicola Nadson 1906 emend. Imhoff 2003 (type sp.)
  • Species C. phaeobacteroides Pfennig 1968 emend. Imhoff 2003
  • Species C. phaeovibrioides Pfennig 1968 emend. Imhoff 2003
  • Genus Chloroherpeton Gibson et al. 1985
  • Species Chloroherpeton thalassium Gibson et al. 1985
  • Genus Clathrochloris Witt et al. 1989
  • Species "Clathrochloris sulfurica" ♠ Witt et al. 1989
  • Genus Pelodictyon Lauterborn 1913
  • Species Pelodictyon phaeum Gorlenko 1972
  • Genus Prosthecochloris Gorlenko 1970 emend. Imhoff 2003
  • Species "P. phaeoasteroides" ♠ Puchkova & Gorlenko 1976
  • Species "P. indica" ♠ Anil Kumar 2005
  • Species P. aestuarii Gorlenko 1970 emend. Imhoff 2003 (type sp.)
  • Species P. vibrioformis (Pelsh 1936) Imhoff 2003 [Chlorobium vibrioforme Pelsh 1936]

  • A page of a book about the green sulfur bacteria.

    ♪ Prokaryotes where no pure (axenic) cultures are isolated or available, i. e. not cultivated or can not be sustained in culture for more than a few serial passages
    ♦ Type strain lost or not available
    ♠ Strains found at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) but not listed in the List of Prokaryotic names with Standing in Nomenclature (LSPN)


    Green sulfur bacteria Wikipedia