Vampirococcus is an informally described genus of ovoid Gram-negative bacteria, but the exact phylogeny of these bacteria is not yet known. They were first described in 1983, as small bacteria about 0.6 μm wide that attached to the surfaces of the larger photosynthetic purple sulfur bacterium Chromatium minus. Vampirococcus has since been identified as aquatic obligate parasite that is specific to Chromatium. They are epibionts, attaching to the exterior of their host and attacking via a specialized cytoplasmic bridge. They are commonly mentioned as an example of epibionts when discussing strategies employed by bacterial predators.
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