The Phylum Synergistetes

  • Estelle Jumas-BilakEmail author
  • Hélène Marchandin
Reference work entry


The phylum Synergistetes has been characterized in 2009 and currently groups 12 genera and 20 species of Gram-negative, anaerobic bacteria with various morphologies and metabolisms, i.e., Aminiphilus, Aminobacterium, Aminomonas, Anaerobaculum, Cloacibacillus, Dethiosulfovibrio, “Fretibacterium,” Jonquetella, Pyramidobacter, Synergistes, Thermanaerovibrio, and Thermovirga. In addition, the genus Acetomicrobium has to be reclassified as belonging to this phylum. Cells are mainly rods with various shapes and are characterized by their ability to utilize amino acids as source for energy. Low cultivability accounts for the global lack of knowledge on most members of this phylum, and data currently available mainly arise from cultivation-independent studies. It is noteworthy that members of Synergistetes are widely distributed but more usually represent a minor population within inhabited ecosystems. Four types of habitats could be delineated depending on isolate or clone origin, including sludge and wastewater from anaerobic digesters, natural springs, natural seawater and sulfur mats, water related to petroleum and gas production facilities, and host-associated microbiota, Synergistes being more usually recovered from a unique of these site types according to the taxon considered. Although no data are currently available regarding their virulence in different hosts, their recovery in various physiological and pathophysiological conditions witnessed for a probable opportunistic pathogenic behavior.


Type Strain Anaerobic Digester Subgingival Plaque Subsea Pipeline Major Cellular Fatty Acid 
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.



We would like to sincerely thank several collaborators whose work for phenotypic or genotypic characterization of anaerobic clinical isolates contributed to support the description of the phylum Synergistetes, Jean-Philippe Carlier, Audrey Damay, Bernard Gay, Hélène Jean-Pierre, Isabelle Zorgniotti, and Laurent Roudière.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UMR5119 ECOSYM, Equipe Pathogènes et Environnements, UFR des Sciences pharmaceutiques et BiologiquesUniversité Montpellier 1MontpellierFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire d’Hygiène hospitalièreCentre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire de MontpellierMontpellierFrance
  3. 3.Laboratoire de BactériologieCentre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire de MontpellierMontpellierFrance

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