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Classification : Creature
Domain : Bacteria (bacteria)
Department : Proteobacteria
Class : Alphaproteobacteria
Order : Rhodospirillales
Family : Acetobacteraceae
Scientific name
(ex Henrici 1939) Gillis & De Ley 1980

The Acetobacteraceae , also known as acetic acid bacteria , are a family within the Alphaproteobacteria . These are gram-negative , obligate aerobic , rod-shaped and often motile bacteria. The optimal pH value for these microorganisms is usually in the acidic range, often between 5.3 and 6.3. Some still grow at significantly lower pH levels.

Metabolism and ecology

Acetic acid bacteria gain energy from the oxidation of ethanol to acetic acid . Some genera, such as B. Acetobacter , with the help of enzymes of the citric acid cycle (citric acid cycle) can further break down acetic acid into carbon dioxide and water . Others, such as Gluconobacter , are unable to do this due to the lack of appropriate enzymes.

In nature, acetic acid bacteria are found everywhere where yeast sugar or vegetable carbohydrates to ethanol ferment . They can also be isolated from flower nectar and damaged fruits. On cider and beer that is neither pasteurized nor sterile-filtered, they grow in a skin on the surface.

Other genera, for example Acidicaldus , Acidiphilium , Acidisphaera , Acidocella and Rhodopila , can be isolated from highly acidic, oligotrophic waters. Acidiphilium acidophilum can live autotrophically , i.e. fix carbon itself.

Some species can fix elemental nitrogen (N 2 ) from the environment and thus use it in their own metabolism. Gluconacetobacter johannae and Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus are examples of the Acetobacteraceae. The so-called nitrogen fixers play an important role within the nitrogen cycle .


Some genera of this family:


  1. George M. Garrity : Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology . 2nd edition, Volume 2: The Proteobacteria. Part C: The Alpha-, Beta-, Delta-, and Epsilonproteabacteria. Springer, New York 2005, ISBN 0-387-24145-0 .
  2. JP Euzéby: List of Prokaryotic names with Standing in Nomenclature - Family Acetobacteraceae ( Memento from April 27, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) (as of November 18, 2015)


  • M. Gillis, J. De Ley: Intra- and intergeneric similarities of the ribosomal ribonucleic acid cistrons of Acetobacter and Gluconobacter . In: International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology , Volume 30, 1980, pp. 7-27.