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Firmicutes

Firmicutes
Bacillus subtilis Gram.jpg
Bacillus subtilis, Gram stained
Scientific classification
Domain: Bacteria
Phylum: Firmicutes
Gibbons and Murray 1978, Murray, 1984
Classes

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. 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-like forms (bacillus).

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.

The group is typically divided into the Clostridia, which are anaerobic, the Bacilli, which are obligate or facultative aerobes, and the Mollicutes.

On phylogenetic trees, the first two groups show up as paraphyletic or polyphyletic, as do their main genera, Clostridium and Bacillus.



  • Phylum "Firmicutes" - J.P. Euz├ęby: List of Prokaryotic names with Standing in Nomenclature
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Wikipedia

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