Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 100, Issue 1, pp 419–436 | Cite as

A cyanobacterium which lacks thylakoids

  • R. Rippka
  • J. Waterbury
  • G. Cohen-Bazire


Gloebacter violaceus gen. and sp. n. is a unicellular photosynthetic prokaryote of unusual cellular structure. The only unit membrane in the small, rod-shaped cells is the cytoplasmic membrane, which has a simple contour, without intrusions. Immediately underlying it is an electron-dense layer 80 nm thick. Gloeobacter is an aerobic photoautotroph which contains chlorophyll α, β-carotene and other carotenoids, allophycocyanin, phycocyanin and phycoerythrin. Chlorophyll and carotenoids are associated with the particulate fraction of cell-free extracts, and are thus probably localized in the cytoplasmic membrane. The phycobiliproteins may be associated with the electron-dense 80 nm layer. The DNA contains 64.4 moles percent GC. The cellular lipids have a high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids, largely linoleate and γ-linolenate. Despite its atypical fine structure, Gloeobacter is evidently a cyanobacterium, sufficiently different from other unicellular cyanobacteria to be placed in a new genus.

Key words

Gloeobacter violaceus Photosynthetic Pigments DNA Base Composition Fatty Acid Composition Cyanobacterium Ultrastructure 

Non-Standard Abbreviations


deoxyribonucleic acid


guanine + cytosine


3-(3,4 dichlorophenyl)-1,1 dimethyl urea


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Rippka
    • 1
  • J. Waterbury
    • 1
  • G. Cohen-Bazire
    • 1
  1. 1.Service de Physiologie MicrobienneInstitut PasteurParis

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