Thiospirillum jenense

(Ehrenberg 1838) Migula 1900

Most likely ID: n.a.


Synonym: Thiospirillum sanguineum


Sampling location: Radolfzell pond


Phylogenetic tree: Thiospirillum jenense



  • cylindrical cells with tapered ends, spirally wound
  • length 20 – 100 µm, width 2-5 µm
  • cells filled with sulphur globules
  • unipolar or bipolar tuft of flagella, about 12 -15 µm long
  • yellowish, organge-brown or flesh-like

The beautiful rhodobacterium Thiospirillum jenense I found together with Rhabdochromatium roseum in the same sample from a drainage ditch near the industrial area of Radolfzell. However, Thiospirillum jenense was much rarer in the sample. I found only specimens with one tuft of flagella.


It is assumed by Skuja that Thiospirillum jenense is synonymous with Thiospirillum sanguineum and that it is only a color variant. While Thiospirillum sanguineum is supposed to be reddish, Thiospirillum jenense is yellowish, orange-brown to flesh-like in color.


Fig. 1: Thiospirillum jenense. L = 63 µm. A slightly squashed specimen. The tuft of flagella (F) is 12 µm long. S = sulfur globules. Obj. 100 X.