Gram-positive BacteriaGram-positive bacteria are generally divided into the Actinobacteria and the Firmicutes.
The Actinobacteria or actinomycetes are a group of Gram-positive bacteria with high G+C ratio. They include some of the most common soil bacteria. Other Actinobacteria inhabit plants and animals and including some pathogens, such as Mycobacterium, Corynebacterium, Nocardia, Rhodococcus and a few species of Streptomyces. Actinobacteria produce secondary metabolites and are important to the pharmacological and biotechnology industries. Streptomyces species, for example, produce important antibiotics. Some Actinobacteria form branching filaments and some Actinomycetes species produce endospores. The majority of Firmicutes have Gram-positive cell wall structure. However some, the Mollicutes or mycoplasmas, lack cell walls altogether and therefore do not respond to Gram staining. They do however lack the second (outer) membrane found in Gram-negative bacteria. Others members of the group, such as Megasphaera, Pectinatus, Selenomonas, and Zymophilus have a porous pseudo-outer-membrane that causes them to stain Gram-negative. The Firmicutes are generally restricted to a core group of related bacteria, called the low G+C group in contrast to the Actinobacteria. Firmicutes can be cocci or rod-shaped forms. Many produce endospores. They are found in various environments and some are important pathogens. Clostridia: Molecular Biology in the Post-genomic Era
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