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Domain : Bacteria (bacteria)
Department : Proteobacteria
Class : Alphaproteobacteria
Order : Rhodospirillales
Family : Acetobacteraceae
Genre : Acetobacter
Scientific name
Beijerinck , 1898

Acetobacter is a genus of bacteria that is characterizedby being able to convert ethanol (ethyl alcohol) into acetic acid (ethanoic acid)under the influence of air. The genus includes several species. Other bacteria can also form acetic acid under different conditions - in the genus Acetobacter all species have this characteristic ability.


Acetobacter species are gram-negative and peritrich flagellated . Acetobacter , together with Gluconobacter and other species, belongs to the so-called acetic acid bacteria ( Acetobacteraceae ). One difference between Acetobacter and Gluconobacter is the ability of Acetobacter ethanol completely carbon dioxide to oxidize . Gluconobacter is not able to do this, the citric acid cycle is incomplete.

Importance to humans

Acetobacter form acetic acid from ethanol and are therefore

The growth of Acetobacter can be contained by effective sanitation, by completely excluding the air from the wine during storage and by using small amounts of sulfur dioxide in the wine as a preservative.


Acetobacter can easily be detected in the laboratory by growing colonies on a carrier that contains about 7% ethanol and enough calcium carbonate to make it cloudy. As soon as the Acetobacter colonies produce enough acetic acid from the ethanol, the calcium carbonate is dissolved around the colonies and a clearly clear area is created there.


The genus Acetobacter belongs to the Acetobacteraceae family of proteobacteria .

Some species (as of October 2018):

Some changes: The species Acetobacter hansenii Gosselé et al. 1983 is now under the species Komagataeibacter europaeus (Sievers et al. 1992) Yamada et al. 2013 , Acetobacter intermedius Boesch et al. 1998 as Komagataeibacter intermedius (Boesch et al. 1998) Yamada et al. 2013 and Acetobacter peroxydans Visser't Hooft 1925 listed as Acetobacter pasteurianus (Hansen 1879) Beijerinck and Folpmers 1916 .


  1. ^ Jean P. Euzéby, Aidan C. Parte: Genus Acetobacter. In: List of Prokaryotic names with Standing in Nomenclature ( LPSN ). Retrieved October 4, 2018 .
  2. a b YAMADA (Y.), YUKPAN (P.), VU (HTL), MURAMATSU (Y.), OCHAIKUL (D.), TANASAPUWAT (S.) and NAKAGAWA (Y.): Description of Komagataeibacter gen. Nov ., with proposals of new combinations (Acetobacteraceae). In: The Journal of General and Applied Microbiology , 2012, Volume 58, No. 5, pp. 397-404. On-line
  3. GOSSELÉ (F.), SWINGS (J.), KERSTERS (K.), PAUWELS (P.) and DE LEY (J.): Numerical analysis of phenotypic features and protein gel electrophoregrams of a wide variety of Acetobacter strains. Proposal for the improvement of the taxonomy of the genus Acetobacter Beijerinck 1898, 215. In: Systematic and Applied Microbiology , 1983, 4, pp. 338-369. doi: 10.1016 / S0723-2020 (83) 80020-4


  • Beijerinck, MW: About the types of vinegar bacteria . Zentralblatt für Bakteriologie, Parasitenkunde, Infectious Diseases and Hygiene, Department II, 1898, 4, 209–216
  • Michael T. Madigan, John M. Martinko, Jack Parker: Brock - Microbiology . 11th edition. Pearson Studium, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-8274-0566-1