TODAY IN OUR LAB: Zoogloea ramigera
Taxonomy: Zoogloea ramigera was first described by Itzigsohn in 1868. The species is classified under the domain Bacteria, phylum Proteobacteria, class Betaproteobacteria, order Rhodocyclales, family Zoogloeaceae, and genus Zoogloea.
Characteristics: Zoogloea ramigera is a rod-shaped bacterium with actively mobile cells that possess a single polar flagellum. This bacterium forms characteristic cell aggregates surrounded by a gelatinous matrix, which gives it a “zoogloeal” appearance. It is a gram-negative bacterium, meaning it does not retain the crystal violet stain in the Gram staining process.
Habitat: Zoogloea ramigera is commonly found in organically enriched aqueous environments, such as activated sludges in sewage treatment plants. It can also be present in freshwater that contains organic matter. Additionally, Zoogloea ramigera has been isolated from forest soil, indicating its presence in natural environments as well.
Role in sewage treatment: Zoogloea ramigera has long been considered the typical activated sludge bacterium responsible for the formation of activated sludge flocs, which play a crucial role in wastewater treatment processes.