The Phylum Firmicutes is further organized into finer groupings including:
- Class (3): Bacilli · Clostridia · Mollicutes
- Species: ZipcodeZoo has pages for 3,479 species and subspecies in the Phylum Firmicutes.
The Clostridia (sulfite-reducing bacteria) are a highly polyphyletic class of Firmicutes, including Clostridium and other similar genera. They are distinguished from the Bacilli by lacking aerobic respiration. They are obligate anaerobes and oxygen is toxic to them. Species of the genus Clostridium are all Gram-positive and have the ability to form spores. Studies show they are not a monophyletic group, and their relationships are not entirely certain. Currently most are placed in a single order called Clostridiales, but this is not a natural group and is likely to be redefined in the future. [more]
The Mollicutes are a class of bacteria distinguished by the absence of a cell wall. The word "Mollicutes" is derived from the Latin mollis (meaning "soft" or "pliable"), and cutis (meaning "skin"). They are parasites of various animals and plants, living on or in the host's cells. Individuals are very small, typically only 0.2?0.3 ?m in size and have a very small genome size. They vary in form, although most have sterols that make the cell membrane somewhat more rigid. Many are able to move about through gliding, but members of the genus Spiroplasma are helical and move by twisting. The best-known genus in Mollicutes is Mycoplasma. [more]
At least 14 species and subspecies belong to the Class Mollicutes.
More info about the Class Mollicutes may be found here.
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