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Burkholderia pseudomallei 01.jpg
Colonies of Burkholderia pseudomallei, one of many pathogenic Betaproteobacteria.
Scientific classification
Domain: Bacteria
Phylum: Proteobacteria
Class: Betaproteobacteria


Betaproteobacteria are a class of gram-negative bacteria, and one of the five classes of the phylum Proteobacteria.[2]

The Betaproteobacteria consist of over 75 genera and 220 species of bacteria.[3] Together, the Betaproteobacteria represent a broad variety of metabolic strategies and occupy diverse environmental niches, some Betaproteobacteria can derive energy from light, while others can use inorganic compounds to make energy.[2] While many Betaproteobacteria are found in environmental soil and water, others are obligate pathogens and can cause disease in a variety of hosts. A number of Betaproteobacteria are economically important, and play roles in soil nitrification as well as wastewater treatment.


As with other classes of Proteobacteria, the Betaproteobacteria are metabolically very diverse. Some, such as Rhodocyclus can derive energy from sunlight.[2] A number of others can use inorganic compounds to generate energy, such as the economically important members of the Nitrosomonadales which can perform nitrification.[2]


A simplified diagram of the phylogenetic relationship of Betaproteobacteria, based on evolutionary relationships noted in [4]

Betaproteobacteria are one of the five classes that make up the phylum Proteobacteria. Betaproteobacteria are most closely related to the Gammaproteobacteria, and together they make up a taxon which has previously been called Chromatibacteria.[3] Seven orders of Betaproteobacteria have been described: Burkholderiales, Hydrogenophilales, Methylophilales, Neisseriales, Nitrosomonadales, Rhodocyclales, and Sulfuricellales. The additional order Procabacteriales has been proposed to accommodate a group of bacterial endosymbionts of Acanthamoeba, however members of Procabacteriales cannot be grown in culture and have not been investigated sufficiently to recognize them as species.[1][5]

Role in disease[edit]

Some members of Betaproteobacteria can cause disease in various eukaryotic organisms. Several cause diseases in humans, such as members of the genus Neisseria: N. gonorrhoeae and N. meninngitides which cause gonorrhea and meningitis respectively, as well as Bordetella pertussis which causes whooping cough. Other members infect plants, such as Burkholderia cepacia which causes bulb rot in onions as well as Xylophilus ampelinus which causes necrosis of grapevines.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b J.P. Euzéby. "Betaproteobacteria". List of Prokaryotic names with Standing in Nomenclature (LPSN). Retrieved 21 May 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d Slonczewski JL, Foster JW (2014). Microbiology: An Evolving Science (3 ed.). W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 742–3. ISBN 9780393123678. 
  3. ^ a b Dworkin M, Falkow S, Rosenberg E, Schleifer KH, Stackebrandt E, eds. (2006). The Prokaryotes, Volume 5 - Proteobacteria: Alpha and Beta Subclasses (3 ed.). Springer. p. 15-18. ISBN 9780387254951. doi:10.1007/0-387-30745-1. 
  4. ^ a b Dworkin M, Falkow S, Rosenberg E, Schleifer KH, Stackebrandt E, eds. (2006). The Prokaryotes, Volume 5 - Proteobacteria: Alpha and Beta Subclasses (3 ed.). Springer. p. 11. ISBN 9780387254951. doi:10.1007/0-387-30745-1. 
  5. ^ Horn M, Fritsche TR, Linner T, Gautom RK, Harzenetter MD, Wagner M (2002). "Obligate bacterial endosymbionts of Acanthamoeba spp. related to the beta-Proteobacteria: proposal of 'Candidatus Procabacter acanthamoebae' gen. nov., sp. nov". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 52: 599–605. PMID 11931173. doi:10.1099/00207713-52-2-599. 

External links[edit]