Janthinobacterium lividum

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Janthinobacterium lividum
Janthinobacterium lividum on TY.png
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Proteobacteria
Order: Burkholderiales
Family: Oxalobacteraceae
Genus: Janthinobacterium
Species: J. lividum
Binomial name
Janthinobacterium lividum
(Eisenberg 1891) De Ley et al. 1978 (Approved Lists 1980)
Type strain
ATCC 12473
CCUG 2344
CIP 103349
DSM 1522
HAMBI 1919
JCM 9043
LMG 2892
NCTC 9796
VKM B-1223

Bacillus lividus Eisenberg 1891
Bacillus violaceus berolinensis Kruse 1896
Bacterium lividus [sic] (Eisenberg 1891) Chester 1897
Bacillus berolinensis Chester 1901
Chromobacterium lividum (Eisenberg 1891) Bergey et al. 1923
Chromobacterium violaceum Ford 1927
Chromobacterium amethystinum Breed et al. 1957
Chromobacterium violaceum Leifson 1956
Pseudomonas mephitica Claydon and Hammer 1939[1]

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).[2]


The genus name, Janthinobacterium, comes from Latin janthinus, which means "violet" or "violet-blue" + bacterium, which means rod or staff.[3] The species name is also from Latin, lividum, which means "of a blue or leaden color".[4]