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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Proteobacteria
Class: Betaproteobacteria
Order: Burkholderiales
Family: Ralstoniaceae
Genus: Ralstonia

Ralstonia eutropha
Ralstonia insidiosa
Ralstonia mannitolilytica
Ralstonia pickettii
Ralstonia pseudosolanacearum[1]
Ralstonia solanacearum
Ralstonia syzygii

Ralstonia is a genus of Proteobacteria, previously included in the genus Pseudomonas. It is named after the American bacteriologist Ericka Ralston.[2] Ericka Ralston was born Ericka Barrett in 1944 in Saratoga, California, and died in 2015 in Sebastopol, California. While in graduate school at the University of California at Berkeley, she identified 20 strains of Pseudomonas which formed a phenotypical homologous group,[3] and named them Pseudomonas pickettii, after M.J. Pickett in the Department of Bacteriology at the University of California at Los Angeles, from whom she had received the strains. Later, P. pickettii was transferred to the new genus Ralstonia, along with several other species.[4] She continued her research into bacterial pathogenesis under the name of Ericka Barrett while a professor of microbiology at the University of California at Davis from 1977 until her retirement in 1996.

Industrial uses[edit]

Researchers at UCLA have genetically modified a strain of Ralstonia (R. eutropha H16) to produce isobutanol from CO2 feedstock using electricity produced by a solar cell. The project, funded by the U.S. Dept. of Energy, is a potential high energy-density electrofuel that could use existing infrastructure to replace oil as a transportation fuel.[5]


Ralstonia has also been identified as a common contaminant of DNA extraction kit or PCR reagents, which may lead to its erroneous appearance in microbiota or metagenomic datasets.[6]


Ralstonia has been identified in the milk of water deer, reindeer and goats.


  1. ^ LPSN bacterio.net
  2. ^ Garrity, George (2001). Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 612. ISBN 9780387241456. 
  3. ^ RALSTON, ERICKA; PALLERONI, N. J.; DOUDOROFF, M. (1973-01-01). "Pseudomonas pickettii, a New Species of Clinical Origin Related to Pseudomonas solanacearum". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 23 (1): 15–19. doi:10.1099/00207713-23-1-15. 
  4. ^ Yabuuchi, Eiko; Kosako, Yoshimasa; Yano, Ikuya; Hotta, Hisako; Nishiuchi, Yukiko (1995-11-01). "Transfer of Two Burkholderia and An Alcaligenes Species to Ralstonia Gen. Nov.". Microbiology and Immunology. 39 (11): 897–904. doi:10.1111/j.1348-0421.1995.tb03275.x. ISSN 1348-0421. PMID 8657018. 
  5. ^ Integrated Electromicrobial Conversion of CO2 to Higher Alcohols, Liao, James C. Science 30 March 2012: Vol. 335 no. 6076 p. 1596 DOI: 10.1126/science.1217643
  6. ^ Salter, S; Cox, M; Turek, E; Calus, S; Cookson, W; Moffatt, M; Turner, P; Parkhill, J; Loman, N; Walker, A (2014). "Reagent contamination can critically impact sequence-based microbiome analyses". bioRxiv. doi:10.1101/007187.