The Rhodospirillaceae are a family of
Proteobacteria Proteobacteria is a major phylum In biology, a phylum (; plural The plural (sometimes list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ), in many languages, is one of the values of the grammatical number, grammatical category of number. The pl ...
. The majority are purple nonsulfur bacteria, producing energy through
photosynthesis Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to convert Conversion or convert may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * Conversion (Doctor Who audio), "Conversion" (''Doctor Who'' audio), an episode of the audio drama ' ...

; originally all purple nonsulfur bacteria were included here.George M. Garrity, Don J. Brenner, Noel R. Krieg, James T. Staley (Hrsg.): ''Bergey's manual of systematic bacteriology''. Vol. 2: ''The Proteobacteria Part C: The Alpha-, Beta-, Delta-, and Epsilonproteabacteria''. 2. Auflage. Springer, New York 2005, Martin Dworkin, Stanley Falkow, Eugene Rosenberg, Karl-Heinz Schleifer, Erko Stackebrandt: The Prokaryotes, A Handbook of the Biology of Bacteria''. Volume 5: Proteobacteria: Alpha and Beta Subclasses'' They are often found in anaerobic aquatic environments, such as
mud Mud is soil Surface-water- gley developed in glacial till, Northern Ireland.">Northern_Ireland.html" ;"title="glacial till, Northern Ireland">glacial till, Northern Ireland. Soil is a mixture of organic matter, minerals, gases, liquids, a ...

stagnant water Water stagnation occurs when water stops Environmental flow, flowing. Stagnant water can be a major environmental hazard. Dangers Malaria and dengue are among the main dangers of stagnant water, which can become a breeding ground for the mosquito ...

stagnant water
, although they are able to survive in air. This family also includes '' Magnetospirillum'', which contains tiny chains of
magnetite Magnetite is a mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific crystal structure that occurs naturally in pure for ...

. These let it sense the Earth's
magnetic field A magnetic field is a vector field In vector calculus and physics, a vector field is an assignment of a vector to each point in a subset of space. For instance, a vector field in the plane can be visualised as a collection of arrows with ...

magnetic field
, which runs downwards as well as north or south, to return to the bottom of a pond (
magnetotaxis Magnetotaxis is a process implemented by a diverse group of gram negative bacteria Gram-negative bacteria are bacteria Bacteria (; common noun bacteria, singular bacterium) are a type of Cell (biology), biological cell. They constitute a l ...
). Similar magnetite chains found in
Martian A Martian is an inhabitant of the planet Mars or a Colonization of Mars, human colonist on Mars. Although the search for evidence of life on Mars continues, many science fiction writers have imagined what extraterrestrial life on Mars might be l ...

meteorite A meteorite is a solid piece of debris from an object, such as a comet A comet is an icy, small Solar System body A small Solar System body (SSSB) is an object in the Solar System The Solar SystemCapitalization of the name varie ...
s have been suggested as evidence of life on Mars.Peter R. Buseck, Rafal E. Dunin-Borkowski, Bertrand Devouard, Richard B. Frankel, Martha R. McCartney, Paul A. Midgley, Mihály Pósfai, and Matthew Weyland: ''Magnetite morphology and life on Mars'' In: ''Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences'' 2001 November 20; 98(24): 13490–13495


Rhodospirillales {{alphaproteobacteria-stub