Acidobacteria are one of the globally distributed and highly diverse phyla of the domain Bacteria. These microorganisms inhabit a wide variety of terrestrial and aquatic habitats and are particularly abundant in acidic soils, peatlands and mineral iron‐rich environments. Owing to the difficulties in cultivating Acidobacteria, the taxonomically described diversity within this phylum remains limited. All characterised representatives are Gram‐negative, nonspore‐forming bacteria that display a variety of cell morphologies. Most characterised acidobacteria are chemoheterotrophs, although photoheterotrophic members have also been described. Cells of these bacteria contain a number of characteristic lipids, which may be responsible for their environmental adaptations. Genomes of acidobacteria are up to 10 Mbp in size and encode a wide repertoire of carbohydrate‐active enzymes involved in breakdown, utilisation and biosynthesis of diverse carbohydrates. Their functional role in the environment includes the decomposition of various biopolymers and participation in the global cycling of carbon, iron and hydrogen.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationeLS
Subtitle of host publicationEncyclopedia of Life Sciences
Editors John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780470015902
ISBN (Print)9780470016176
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


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