The Family Syntrophomonadaceae

  • Bernhard Schink
  • Raúl Muñoz
Reference work entry


The family Syntrophomonadaceae comprises the genera Syntrophomonas, Pelospora, Syntrophothermus, and Thermosyntropha. All these bacteria are strictly anaerobic and depend on reducing conditions for growth. They are Gram-positive with low DNA content, but in most cases the murein layer is thin and an outer membrane appears, resembling the cell wall architecture of Gram-negative bacteria. Also in Gram-staining, these bacteria mostly behave Gram-negative. Except for Pelospora, all members of this family degrade fatty acids of four carbon atoms or more by beta oxidation, in close association with hydrogen- or formate-utilizing partner organisms, and depend on this association for thermodynamic reasons. Most representatives of this family can be grown in pure culture with crotonate which is dismutated to acetate and butyrate. Pelospora sp. grows by decarboxylation of glutarate or succinate.


Rumen Fluid Syntrophic Association Syntrophic Bacterium Syntrophic Interaction Methanospirillum Hungatei 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This manuscript is largely based on its predecessor that was written by Martin Sobieraj and David R. Boone and published in the last edition of the Prokaryotes. The author wants to dedicate this manuscript to the late David Boone who made substantial contributions to microbial taxonomy in general and to our understanding of syntrophic fatty acid oxidation in particular. Unfortunately, David passed away in 2005 far too early, at 53 years of age.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of KonstanzKonstanzGermany
  2. 2.Marine Microbiology Group, Department of Ecology and Marine ResourcesInstitut Mediterráni d’Estudis Avancats (CSIC-UIB)Esporles, Illes BalearsSpain

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