The Prokaryotes pp 3631-3675 | Cite as

The Order Cytophagales

  • Hans Reichenbach


In the past decade much has been learnt about the order Cytophagales and about some of the organisms belonging to it, although the majority of its members are as unfamiliar as ever. On the basis of 16S rRNA studies, we can now delimit the group with some confidence and have a well-founded idea of its phylogenetic position (Paster et al., 1985; Woese et al., 1985). Accordingly, the Cytophagales appear to be distantly related to the Bacteroides group, and these two together comprise one of the main branches, perhaps a phylum, in the bacterial phylogenetic system. The substructure of the Cytophaga branch of the phylum is more difficult to evaluate. There is a main line on which we find unicellular gliders—Cytophaga (Cy.*) johnsonae, Cy. lytica, Cy. aquatilis = Flavobacterium (Fv.) aquatile, and Sporocytophaga (Sp.) myxococcoides—but at a lower level unicellular nonmotile bacteria (Fv. breve, i.e., low GC, true flavobacteria) are also found. At a still lower level, a cluster branches off which comprises the unicellular gliders—Flexibacter (Fx.) filiformis = Fx. elegans Fx el, Cy. heparina, and Taxeobacter = Myx 2105), unicellular non-gliding flavobacteria (Fv. ferugineum), but also filamentous, multicellular, gliding (Saprospira) and nonmotile bacteria (Haliscomenobacter). It is obvious from these data that our present definition of genera does not reflect the phylogenetic situation, and also that the grouping in families and perhaps orders needs to be reconsidered. Before that is done, however, 16S rRNA sequences of further species should be determined.


Artificial Seawater Fish Pathogen Fish Pathol Columnaris Disease Mineral Salt Agar 
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