Bergey’s Manual® of Systematic Bacteriology

pp 473-599

Phylum BX. Cyanobacteria

  • Richard W. Castenholz
  • , Annick Wilmotte
  • , Michael Herdman
  • , Rosmarie Rippka
  • , John B. Waterbury
  • , Isabelle Iteman
  • , Lucien Hoffmann

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The oxygenic photosynthetic procaryotes comprise a single taxonomic and phylogenetic group (see master phylogenetic tree of the Bacteria). In the last edition of the Manual, two separate groups were described, but it is now apparent that members of the Prochlorales simply represent different, unrelated genera which fall into the main cluster of the Cyanobacteria (see Oxygenic Photosynthetic Bacteria, below). The principal character that defines all of these oxygenic photosynthetic procaryotes is the presence of two photosystems (PSII and PSI) and the use of H2O as the photoreductant in photosynthesis. Although facultative photo- or chemo-heterotrophy may occur in some species or strains, all known members are capable of photoautotrophy (using CO2 as the primary source of cell carbon).