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Table 6. Typical features of reference taxa compared to the three Spirochaeta species placed within Treponema.

From: Genome sequence of the thermophilic fresh-water bacterium Spirochaeta caldaria type strain (H1T), reclassification of Spirochaeta caldaria, Spirochaeta stenostrepta and Spirochaeta zuelzerae in the genus Treponema as Treponema caldaria comb. nov., Treponema stenostrepta comb. nov., and Treponema zuelzerae comb. nov., and emendation of the genus Treponema

  S. caldaria [1] S. zuelzerae [62] S. stenostrepta [63] Genus Spirochaeta [31,3436,55] Genus Treponema [55,64]
Cell shape helical helical helical helical; spherical bodies under unfavorable growth conditions helical; spherical bodies under unfavorable growth conditions
Pathogenicity non pathogenic non pathogenic non pathogenic non pathogenic some species are pathogenic
Biotic relationship free living free living free living free living primarily host-associated
Size [µm] 0.2–0.3 by 15–45 0.2–0.35 by 8–16 0.2–0.3 by 15–45 0.2–0.75 by 5–250 0.1–0.7 by 5–20
Motility motile motile motile motile motile
Flagellation flagella 1-2-1 flagella 1-2-1 2 periplasmic flagella 2 periplasmic flagella (exception: S. plicatillis, which has many flagella) one or more periplasmic flagella
Relationship to O 2 obligately anaerobe obligately anaerobe obligately anaerobe obligately anaerobe or facultatively anaerobe obligately anaerobe or microaerophilic
Utilizes carbohydrates, no amino acids carbohydrates carbohydrates a variety of carbohydrates, no amino acids carbohydrates or amino acids
Fermentation products acetate, lactate, CO2, H2 acetate, lactate, CO2, H2 acetate, ethanol, CO2, H2, (lactate) acetate, ethanol, CO2, H2  
G+C content [mol%] 46 56 60 51–65 [35] 44–65 [34] 37–54