TAXONOMY: cellular organisms -> Bacteria -> Synergistetes
The Synergistetes is a recently recognized phylum of anaerobic bacteria that show Gram-negative staining and have rod/vibrioid cell shape Although Synergistetes have a diderm cell envelope, the genes for various proteins involved in lipopolysaccharides biosynthesis have not yet been detected in Synergistetes, indicating that they may have an atypical outer cell envelope. The Synergistetes inhabit a majority of anaerobic environments including animal gastrointestinal tracts, soil, oil wells, and wastewater treatment plants and they are also present in sites of human diseases such as cysts, abscesses, and areas of periodontal disease.Due to their presence at illness related sites, the Synergistetes are suggested to be opportunistic pathogens but they can also be found in healthy individuals in the microbiome of the umbilicus and in normal vaginal flora. Species within this phylum have also been implicated in periodontal disease, gastrointestinal infections and soft tissue infections.Other species from this phylum have been identified as significant contributors in the degradation of sludge for production of biogas in anaerobic digesters and are potential candidates for use in renewable energy production through their production of hydrogen gas. All of the known Synergistetes species and genera are presently part of a single class (Synergistia), order (Synergistiales) and family (Synergistaceae).