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The photosynthetic membrane system occupies the major part of the cytoplasm in bacteria growing anaerobically in the light. Storage materials are abundantly produced during growth with glycerol, both under chemotrophic (aerobically in the dark) as well as under phototrophic (anaerobically in the light) growth conditions. Suspensions of bacteria grown anaerobically in the light appear purple-pink. In vivo absorption maxima at 370, 655, 804, and 827 nm and a shoulder at 880 nm indicate the presence of bacteriochlorophyll a, while a major peak at 518 nm and shoulders at 486 and 549 nm reveal the presence of carotenoids of the okenone group.

N. L. neut. n. Chromatium one which is colored. Cells are straight or slightly curved rods, more than 3 lm wide, single or in pairs, multiply by binary fission. Motile by a polar tuft of multitrichous flagella that can be seen in the light microscope, Gram negative, belong to the Gammaproteobacteria, and contain internal photosynthetic membranes of vesicular type in which the photosynthetic pigments bacteriochlorophyll a and carotenoids are located. Strictly anaerobic, obligately phototrophic, and require sulfide-reduced media.

In the presence of sulfide and carbonate, acetate and pyruvate are photoassimilated. Chemolithotrophic growth under microoxic conditions in the dark is possible with sulfide and thiosulfate, chemoorganotrophic growth with acetate and pyruvate. Assimilatory sulfate reduction is absent. Vitamin B12 required. 0). Sodium chloride required for growth, optimum salinity for growth at 8–11% NaCl, salinity range for growth from 4 to 20% NaCl. Habitat: Reduced sediments in coastal salinas with salt deposits exposed to light.

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