Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 136, Issue 1, pp 11–16 | Cite as

Heliobacterium chlorum, an anoxygenic brownish-green photosynthetic bacterium containing a “new” form of bacteriochlorophyll

  • Howard Gest
  • Jeffrey L. Favinger
Original Papers


Heliobacterium chlorum is a brownish-green anoxygenic photosynthetic bacterium, isolated from surface soil. It fixes N2 readily, and contains a hitherto unknown form of bacteriochlorophyll (Bchl). The latter, designated as BchlgGg, shows a major absorbancy peak in vivo at 788 nm. As yet, the subcellular localization of the photosynthetic pigment is uncertain; neither chlorosomes nor extensively developed intracytoplasmic membranes of the kind produced by most photosynthetic bacteria are observed in electron micrographs of thin sections. H. chlorum grows rapidly as a mesophilic photoheterotroph, requires biotin as an essential growth factor, and appears to move by gliding motility. The bacterium is unable to grow aerobically in darkness, and photosynthetic growth is severely inhibited by molecular oxygen. The extreme O2-sensitivity of H. chlorum may be related to its low content of (neurosporene-like) carotenoid.

Key words

Heliobacterium chlorum Bacterial photosynthesis Bacteriochlorophyll g-N2 fixation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Howard Gest
    • 1
  • Jeffrey L. Favinger
    • 1
  1. 1.Photosynthetic Bacteria Group, Department of BiologyIndiana UniveristyBloomingtonUSA

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