On agar media containing low amounts of nutrients, wavy, curly, or spiral colonies are
produced, from which trichomes glide radially outward from the central colony area.
On solid media containing high nutrient concentrations, the trichomes spread very
little and can form drop-like colonies. Nonpigmented. Aerobic to microaerophilic,
having a respiratory type of metabolism with oxygen as the terminal electron acceptor.
No growth anaerobically. Sulfur inclusions are not formed from hydrogen sulfide or
thiosulfate. V. beggiatoides and V. filiformis strains grow best on media with very low
nutrient concentrations, not tolerating high concentrations of nutrients.
Phylum Proteobacteria, Class Betaproteobacteria, Order Neisseriales, Family Neisseriaceae, Genus Vitreoscilla,
- Vitreoscilla beggiatoides Pringsheim 1949, type species of the genus;
- Vitreoscilla filiformis (ex Pringsheim 1951) Strohl et al. 1986;
- Vitreoscilla stercoraria Pringsheim 1951.
Gram-negative, cylindrical or sausage-shaped cells (V. stercoraria), 1.0-3.0 µm in
diameter. Forming colorless filaments with lengths up to several hundred µm.
Non-flagellated. Gliding motility. PHB and polyphosphate deposits may be present.
V. beggiatoides was isolated from sandy, but lightly sulfide-emanating, sediments of freshwater streams. Sensitive to polymyxin B,
neomycin, and furadantin/macrodantin; resistant to bacitracin and streptomycin.
V. filliformis was isolated from freshwater sediments, usually in association with decaying matter. Sensitive to bacitracin, streptomycin,
furadantin/macrodantin, and polymyxin B.
V. stercoraria was isolated from cow dung.
- Strohl (W.R.), Schmidt (T.M.), Lawry (N.H.), Mezzino (M.J.) and Larkin (J.M.): Characterization of Vitreoscilla beggiatoides and
Vitreoscilla filiformis sp. nov., nom. rev., and comparison with Vitreoscilla stercoraria and Beggiatoa alba. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol.,
1986, 36, 302-313.
- Tone Tonjum, 2005. Order IV. Neisseriales ord. nov. In: Bergey’s Manual of Systematic Bacteriology, Second edition, Vol two, part
C The Alpha-, Beta-, Delta-, and Epsilonproteobacteria, George M. Garrity (Editor-in-Chief), pp 774-863.
(c) Costin Stoica
Legend: + positive, - negative, d variable, w weak reaction, nd not determined.
Note: * catalase was negative in the original paper by Strohl et al. and positive in Bergey's Manual