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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Proteobacteria
Class: Betaproteobacteria
Order: Hydrogenophilales
Family: Hydrogenophilaceae
Genus: Thiobacillus

Thiobacillus thioparus
Thiobacillus denitrificans
Thiobacillus aquaesulis
Thiobacillus thiophilus

Thiobacillus is a genus of Gram-negative Betaproteobacteria. Thiobacilus thioparus is the type species of the genus. Whilst over 30 "species" have been named in this genus, most were never validly or effectively published. The remainder were either reclassified into Thiomonas, Paracoccus, Starkeya, Sulfuriferula, Halothiobacillus, Thermithiobacillus or Acidithiobacillus, or were lost from culture.

Most species are obligate autotrophs (using the transaldolase form of the Calvin-Benson-Bassham cycle) using elementary sulfur, thiosulfate or polythionates as energy sources but Thiobacillus aquaesulis can grow weakly on complex media as a heterotroph. Some strains (E6 and Tk-m) of the type species Thiobacillus thioparus can use the sulfur from dimethylsulfide, dimethyldisulfide or carbon disulfide to support autotrophic growth - they oxidise the carbon from these species into carbon dioxide and assimilate it. Sulfur oxidation is achieved via the Kelly-Trudinger pathway.


As a result of 16S ribosomal RNA sequence analysis, many members of Thiobacillus have been reassigned.[1]


  1. ^ a b Kelly DP; Wood AP (2000). "Reclassification of some species of Thiobacillus to the newly designated genera Acidithiobacillus gen. nov., Halothiobacillus gen. nov. and Thermithiobacillus gen. nov.". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 50: 511–516. doi:10.1099/00207713-50-2-511. PMID 10758854. Retrieved 19 December 2015.