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Pseudomonas putida

"Pseudomonad" is a general term for a diverse group of bacteria which morphologically and physiologically resemble members of the genus Pseudomonas. In addition to the genus Pseudomonas, a variety of other bacteria are sometimes lumped under this title if they share the following characteristics:

Most pseudomonads are free-living saprophytic organisms in soil or water where they play an important role in decomposition, biodegradation, and the carbon and nitrogen cycles. Because of this lifestyle, pseudomonads are characterized by great metabolic diversity and are able to utilize a wide range of carbon sources, including molecules which few other organisms can break down. Consequently, they are important organisms in bioremediation.

Most pseudomonads are motile by means of a single polar flagellum, although the agar-grown culture shown this video does not show motility:

While P. putida is non-pathogenic, other pseudomonads can cause disease. P. aeruginosa is an important opportunistic pathogen, and a leading cause of hospital-acquired infections. This organism is particularly problematic in patients with severe burns or those undergoing immuno-suppressive therapy (e.g. transplant and cancer patients). P. syringae is a plant pathogen, although it can also prevent fungal decomposition of fruit crops after harvest.


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