Only three genera are included in this phylum, but two of these are of particular interest because of remarkable physiological properties. Thermus species are thermophiles whose best known member is T. aquaticus; this is the source of the thermostable enzyme Taq polymerase, used in the polymerase chain reaction (Chapter 12). Deinococcus species show an extraordinary degree of resistance to radiation, due, it seems, to an unusually powerful DNA repair system. This also enables Deinococcus to resist chemical mutagens (see Chapter 12). Both Deinococcus and Thermus species have an unusual refinement to the structure of their peptidoglycan, with ornithine replacing diaminopimelic acid (Figure 7.11).
Representative genera: Deinococcus, Thermus
The remaining phyla of Gram-negative bacteria are grouped together in Volume 5 of the second edition of Bergey.
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