(Eisenberg 1891) De Ley et al. 1978 (Approved Lists 1980)
Bacillus lividus Eisenberg 1891
Janthinobacterium lividum is an aerobic, gram-negative, soil-dwelling bacterium that has a distinctive dark-violet (almost black) color. This color is due to a compound called violacein, which is produced when glycerol is metabolized as a carbon source. Violacein has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties. Its anti-fungal properties are of particular interest since J. lividum is found on the skin of certain amphibians, including the red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus), where it prevents infection by the devastating chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis).
The genus name, Janthinobacterium, comes from Latin janthinus, which means "violet" or "violet-blue" + bacterium, which means rod or staff. The species name is also from Latin, lividum, which means "of a blue or leaden color".
- Kämpfer, P., Falsen, E., and Busse, H. J. (2008) "Reclassification of Pseudomonas mephitica Claydon and Hammer 1939 as a later heterotypic synonym of Janthinobacterium lividum (Eisenberg 1891) De Ley et al. 1978." Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol., 58:136–138. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.65450-0 PMID 18175698
- Small Things Considered: What You Don't Know About Janthinobacterium
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