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Phototrophic Purple Bacteria

  1. Johannes F Imhoff

Published Online: 15 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0021156



How to Cite

Imhoff, J. F. 2009. Phototrophic Purple Bacteria. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. Institut für Meereswissenschaften IFM-GEOMAR, Kiel, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2009


Phototrophic purple bacteria are Proteobacteria which synthesize a photosynthetic apparatus, located in internal membrane systems and the cytoplasmic membrane. They thrive in all kinds of aquatic habitats and sediments that receive sufficient light and provide oxygen deficient and anoxic conditions. They occur widely distributed in nature. Metabolically specialized species live in specific ecological niches, metabolically versatile species have adapted to a wide range of habitats. Phototrophic purple sulfur bacteria, the Chromatiaceae and the Ectothiorhodospiraceae families, are Gammaproteobacteria. Genera of the purple nonsulfur bacteria are Alpha- and Betaproteobacteria phylogenetically closely related to purely chemotrophic bacteria.


  • phototrophic bacteria;
  • Chromatiaceae;
  • Ectothiorhodospiraceae;
  • purple nonsulfur bacteria