Type I (Sphaerotilus natans), strain 3. Fig (top): S. natans grown as an iron bacterium in the apparatus of Fig. 1 ; Fig (bottom): cells grown on S+ -agar, 810 x. - Source:4Aerobic heterotroph
Associated with activated sludge bulking. In situ and in pure culture, morphology occurs as straight, rod shaped cells forming long filaments, enclosed in clear sheaths with false branching and single rods 1 5 6 4. Metabolism is respiratory, aerobic and chemoorganotrophic 7 2, where a wide range of carbon substrates are utilized for growth. Poly- β-hydroxybutyrate is stored in granules as reserve material. Polysaccharides may also accumulate 2. Capable of Fe(II) oxidation 2 10. Mixotrophical growth of S. natans strain DSM 6575T has been demonstrated with pyruvate as carbon source, Fe(II) as electron donors and nitrate as an electron acceptor 9.
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 Park, Kim, Lee, Hur (2014): Sphaerotilus natans encrusted with nanoball-shaped Fe(III) oxide minerals formed by nitrate-reducing mixotrophic Fe(II) oxidation. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 90 (1): 68-77. doi:10.1111/1574-6941.12372
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