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Scientific classification
Domain: Bacteria
Phylum: DeinococcusThermus
Garrity and Holt 2001
Class: Deinococci
  • Deinococcaeota Oren et al. 2015

Deinococcus–Thermus is a phylum of bacteria that are highly resistant to environmental hazards.[1]

There are two main groups.

  • The Deinococcales include two families, with three genera, Deinococcus and Truepera, the former with several species that are resistant to radiation; they have become famous for their ability to eat nuclear waste and other toxic materials, survive in the vacuum of space and survive extremes of heat and cold.
  • The Thermales include several genera resistant to heat (Marinithermus, Meiothermus, Oceanithermus, Thermus, Vulcanithermus).[2] Thermus aquaticus was important in the development of the polymerase chain reaction where repeated cycles of heating DNA to near boiling make it advantageous to use a thermo-stable DNA polymerase enzyme.

Though these two groups evolved from a common ancestor, the two mechanisms of resistance appear to be largely independent.[3]

These bacteria have thick cell walls that give them gram-positive stains, but they include a second membrane and so are closer in structure to those of gram-negative bacteria.

Cavalier-Smith calls this clade Hadobacteria[4] (from Hades, the Greek underworld).


The phylogeny is based on 16S rRNA-based LTP release 123 by 'The All-Species Living Tree' Project.[5]


Rhabdothermus arcticus Steinsbu et al. 2011

Vulcanithermus mediatlanticus Miroshnichenko et al. 2003


O. desulfurans Mori et al. 2004

O. profundus Miroshnichenko et al. 2003 (type sp.)

Marinithermus hydrothermalis Sako et al. 2003




Truepera radiovictrix Albuquerque et al. 2005


Deinobacterium chartae Ekman et al. 2011


♠ Strains found at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) but not listed in the List of Prokaryotic names with Standing in Nomenclature (LSPN)


The currently accepted taxonomy is based on the List of Prokaryotic names with Standing in Nomenclature (LPSN)[6] and National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)[7]

  • Phylum Deinococcus-Thermus [Deinococcaeota Oren et al. 2015]
    • Class Deinococci Garrity & Holt 2002 ["Hadobacteria" Cavalier-Smith 1992 emend. Cavalier-Smith 1998; Hadobacteria Cavalier-Smith 2002; "Xenobacteria"]

Sequenced genomes[edit]

Currently there are 10 sequenced genomes of strains in this phylum.[8]

  • Deinococcus radiodurans R1
  • Thermus thermophilus HB27
  • Thermus thermophilus HB8
  • Deinococcus geothermalis DSM 11300
  • Deinococcus deserti VCD115
  • Meiothermus ruber DSM 1279
  • Meiothermus silvanus DSM 9946
  • Truepera radiovictrix DSM 17093
  • Oceanithermus profundus DSM 14977

The two Meiothermus species were sequenced under the auspices of the Genomic Encyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea project (GEBA), which aims at sequencing organisms based on phylogenetic novelty and not on pathogenicity or notoriety.[9] Currently, the genome of Thermus aquaticus Y51MC23 is in the final stages of assembly by the DOE Joint Genome Institute [10]


  1. ^ Griffiths E, Gupta RS (September 2007). "Identification of signature proteins that are distinctive of the Deinococcus–Thermus phylum" (PDF). Int. Microbiol. 10 (3): 201–8. PMID 18076002. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Omelchenko MV, Wolf YI, Gaidamakova EK, et al. (2005). "Comparative genomics of Thermus thermophilus and Deinococcus radiodurans: divergent routes of adaptation to thermophily and radiation resistance". BMC Evol. Biol. 5: 57. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-5-57. PMC 1274311free to read. PMID 16242020. 
  4. ^ Cavalier-Smith T (2006). "Rooting the tree of life by transition analyses". Biol. Direct. 1: 19. doi:10.1186/1745-6150-1-19. PMC 1586193free to read. PMID 16834776. 
  5. ^ 'The All-Species Living Tree' Project."16S rRNA-based LTP release 123 (full tree)" (PDF). Silva Comprehensive Ribosomal RNA Database. Retrieved 2016-03-20. 
  6. ^ J.P. Euzéby. ""Deinococcus-Thermus"". List of Prokaryotic names with Standing in Nomenclature (LPSN). Retrieved 2016-03-20. 
  7. ^ Sayers; et al. ""Deinococcus-Thermus"". National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) taxonomy database. Retrieved 2016-03-20. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Wu, D.; Hugenholtz, P.; Mavromatis, K.; Pukall, R. D.; Dalin, E.; Ivanova, N. N.; Kunin, V.; Goodwin, L.; Wu, M.; Tindall, B. J.; Hooper, S. D.; Pati, A.; Lykidis, A.; Spring, S.; Anderson, I. J.; d'Haeseleer, P.; Zemla, A.; Singer, M.; Lapidus, A.; Nolan, M.; Copeland, A.; Han, C.; Chen, F.; Cheng, J. F.; Lucas, S.; Kerfeld, C.; Lang, E.; Gronow, S.; Chain, P.; Bruce, D. (2009). "A phylogeny-driven genomic encyclopaedia of Bacteria and Archaea". Nature. 462 (7276): 1056–1060. Bibcode:2009Natur.462.1056W. doi:10.1038/nature08656. PMC 3073058free to read. PMID 20033048. 
  10. ^