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Clostridium is a genus of Gram-positive bacteria, belonging to the Firmicutes. They are obligate anaerobes capable of producing endospores. Individual cells are rod-shaped, which gives them their name, from the Greek kloster or spindle. These characteristics traditionally defined the genus, but they are not phylogenetically significant; many species originally classified as Clostridium have been reclassified in other genera.
Additional recommended knowledge
Honey sometimes contains Clostridium botulinum bacteria, which may cause infant botulism in humans one year old and under. The bacteria produce botulinum toxin, which eventually paralyzes the infant's breathing muscles. C. sordellii has been linked to the deaths of more than a dozen women after childbirth.
C. thermocellum can utilize lignocellulosic waste and generate ethanol, thus making it a possible candidate for use in ethanol production. It also has no oxygen requirement and is thermophilic, reducing cooling cost. C. acetobutylicum, also known as the Weizmann organism, which was first used by Chaim Weizmann to produce acetone and biobutanol from starch in 1916 for the production of gunpowder and TNT.
The anaerobic bacterium C. ljungdahlii, recently discovered in commercial chicken wastes, can produce ethanol from single-carbon sources including synthesis gas, a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen that can be generated from the partial combustion of either fossil fuels or biomass. Use of these bacteria to produce ethanol from synthesis gas has progressed to the pilot plant stage at the BRI Energy facility in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Clostridium". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|