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Flavobacterium johnsoniae

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A gram-negative aerobic motile bacterium involved in protein and polysaccharide digestion particularly the insoluble chitin known as the most abundant biopolymers scattered on earth.


Flavobacterium johnsoniae exhibits rapid movement over surfaces through gliding motion which may be vital in digestion of insoluble polymers like chitin. Its gliding mechanism is novel since it does not contain flagella or type IV pili but instead a structure of proteins in the cell envelop comprise the motor which is thought to function as cell surface adhesion that able to propel.

Flavobacterium johnsoniae is commonly isolated from freshwater and soil. It composed of an unusual outer membrane having flexirubin pigments and sulfonolipids. It plays a vital role in the turnover of various compounds in the environment.

Flavobacterium johnsoniae has the ability to digest chitin a biopolymer that is insoluble and relatively resistant to degradation found abundantly on earth. Its utilization is through direct contact of the cells with insoluble chitin for efficient degradation. It also digests various polysaccharides, polysaccharide lyases, glycoside hydrolases, and carbohydrates esterases as well as hemicelluloses including mannans, xylans and xyloglucans.

Former name: Cytophaga johnsonae

Scientific Classification:

 Kingdom: Bacteria
 Phylum: Bacteroidetes
 Class: Flaviobacteria
 Order: Flaviobacteriales
 Family: Flaviobacteriaceae
 Genus: Flavobacterium
 Species: Flavobacterium johnsoniae

See also:

• Bacteria

• Chitin

• Biopolymer