The Ultimate Guide To Photosynthetic Bacteria

Photosynthetic bacteria are a crucial part of the food chain because they are prokaryotes that convert light energy provided by the sun into chemical energy via the photosynthesis process.

This makes them extremely important as they are capable of creating their own energy without the assistance of other organisms or inorganic materials. 

They are also classed as photoautotrophs due to the fact that they can make their own energy using inorganic material from their environment.

The Ultimate Guide To Photosynthetic Bacteria

Because of this, they are not entirely dependent on other organisms or organic materials for energy.

In this guide, we’ll be taking you through everything you need to know about photosynthetic bacteria including the most commonly found types of photosynthetic bacteria that you should know about when conducting research and other relevant information.

Different Types Of Photosynthetic Bacteria

As mentioned above, Photosynthetic bacteria have various forms and there are many types that you should know about.

Photosynthetic bacteria can be found in both aquatic and terrestrial environments, meaning that they can be found almost anywhere in the world.

Here are the most common types of photosynthetic bacteria:


The most commonly found form of photosynthetic bacteria is Cyanobacteria. This is commonly known as blue-green algae and can be found in various aquatic ecosystems.

Cyanobacteria are gram-negative bacteria that include over 6,000 various species over the world with more than 2,000 of these included in the Cyanobacteria phylum. 

Cyanobacteria has the ability to fix nitrogen meaning that it is often found thriving in soil and water environments. 


Secondly, Chlorobi is commonly referred to as green sulfur and contains obligatory anaerobic bacteria that are found in anoxic conditions.

Due to this, these bacteria are commonly found in habitats that are rich in sulfur and low light environments. 

They can also be found in aquatic environments at the lower parts of the photic zone that means that it is near the ocean surface.

Chlorobi bacteria that is found in the photic zone is therefore capable of absorbing plenty of light energy that is required for photosynthesis. 


The third group is Chloroflexi, which is commonly known  as Chlorobacteria that has a wide variety of different characteristics.

There are some Chloroflexi that are aerobic thermophiles meaning that it requires oxygen, while there are other species that are anoxygenic photoautotrophs meaning that they can use light energy for the photosynthesis process. 

Chloroflexi is one of the most physiologically and ecologically diverse, meaning that it can be found in a wide variety of different habitats and environments. 


The penultimate group of photosynthetic bacteria is Heliobacteria which is a gram-positive group of bacteria that can be found within the Firmicutes phylum.

These bacteria have nitrogen fixation, meaning that they are often found thriving in various types of soil and are not often found in aquatic environments. 


The final group of photosynthetic bacteria to discuss is Proteobacteria, which is commonly known as purple bacteria. This is a gram-negative bacteria that can be found all over the globe and is very similar to Cyanobacteria.

One major difference, however, is that Proteobacteria contains a lot of pathogenic genera such as Escherichia, Salmonella, and Vibrio. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Photosynthetic Bacteria Called?

Photosynthetic bacteria have many types of bacteria under their umbrella. One such bacteria is Cyanobacteria which is also commonly known as Cyanophyta.

Cyanobacteria are classified as a phylum of gram-negative bacteria that gain their energy from the photosynthesis process. 

What Is The Most Common Photosynthetic Bacteria?

The most common photosynthetic bacteria found are the Prochlorococcus which is a tiny marine cyanobacterium that is around 0.6 μm.

They belong to the photosynthetic picoplankton and are one of the most abundant photosynthetic organisms on Earth, making them crucial for the food chain. 

Is Photosynthetic Bacteria A Producer?

Photosynthetic bacteria are known as photoautotrophs as they can create their energy and are not reliant on other organisms for their energy.

They use photosynthesis to provide energy for consumers and producers, making it a crucial bacterium in the food chain as it is vital that these bacteria exist and function properly. 


In conclusion, photosynthetic bacteria help to convert light energy provided by the sun into chemical energy through the photosynthesis process.

These bacteria are known as prokaryotes and classified as photoautotrophs due to their ability to use inorganic materials from their surroundings to make their own energy.

Photosynthetic bacteria are not necessarily reliant on other organisms for energy and can be found in both aquatic and terrestrial environments, meaning that these bacteria can be found almost everywhere.

Jennifer Dawkins

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