TAXONOMY: cellular organisms -> Bacteria -> Bacteroidetes/Chlorobi group -> Bacteroidetes
The phylum 'Bacteroidetes' is composed of three large classes of Gram-negative, nonsporeforming, anaerobic or aerobic, and rod-shaped bacteria that are widely distributed in the environment, including in soil, sediments, and sea water, as well as in the guts and on the skin of animals. By far, the ones in the Bacteroidia class are the most well-studied, including the genus Bacteroides (an abundant organism in the feces of warm-blooded animals including humans), and Porphyromonas, a group of organisms inhabiting the human oral cavity. The class Bacteroidia was formerly called Bacteroidetes; as it was until recently the only class in the phylum, the name was changed in the fourth volume of Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology. Members of the genus Bacteroides are opportunistic pathogens. Rarely are members of the other two classes pathogenic to humans. This phylum is sometimes grouped with Chlorobi, Fibrobacteres, Gemmatimonadates, Caldithrix, and marine group A to form the FCB group or superphylum. In the alternative classification system proposed by Cavalier- Smith, this taxon is instead a class in the Sphingobacteria phylum.