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A genus of Gram-negative, motile bacteria that grow as free living organisms in soil, river water, marshes, and coastal marine, habitats and as pathogens of plants and animals. Geneticists often study strains of P. aeruginosa which are resistant to antibiotics and disinfectants and are responsible for many infections in humans. This species is the predominant cause of mortality in patients with cystic fibrosis (q.v.). The bacterium is characterized by a single polar flagellum. Its genome contains 6.3 mbp of DNA and about 5,570 ORFs have been identified. Lysogeny (q.v.) is common in P. aeruginosa. The 6.2 mbp genome of P. putida has also been sequenced and found to contain 5,420 ORFs. P. putida is a species with diverse metabolic and transport systems, which colonizes soil and water habitats, as well as the roots of crop plants. It has unusual abilities in breaking down aromatic and other toxic compounds, and it can tolerate heavy metals. See Classification, Bacteria, Proteobacteria; bacteriocins, bioremediation.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics.

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