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Desulfobacula phenolica (Bak and Widdel) Kuever et al.


Product category
Product type
Strain designation
DSM 3384 [Ph01]
Type strain
Isolation source
Marine mud
Geographical isolation
Product format
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ATCC determines the biosafety level of a material based on our risk assessment as guided by the current edition of Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is your responsibility to understand the hazards associated with the material per your organization’s policies and procedures as well as any other applicable regulations as enforced by your local or national agencies.

ATCC highly recommends that appropriate personal protective equipment is always used when handling vials. For cultures that require storage in liquid nitrogen, it is important to note that some vials may leak when submersed in liquid nitrogen and will slowly fill with liquid nitrogen. Upon thawing, the conversion of the liquid nitrogen back to its gas phase may result in the vial exploding or blowing off its cap with dangerous force creating flying debris. Unless necessary, ATCC recommends that these cultures be stored in the vapor phase of liquid nitrogen rather than submersed in liquid nitrogen.

Detailed product information


Specific applications
Degrades phenol
Degrades phenol derivatives


Extremophile type
Sulfate reducer

Handling information

80% N2, 20% CO2
Handling procedure
  1. Sterilize the top of the Balch tube by spraying it with 70% ethanol and then flame the top.
  2. If needed exchange the gas in the test tube for 80% N2 20% CO2.
  3. If the medium is pink (see discussion about resazurin) add 2.0 mL of reducing agent (1.5% sodium sulfide, stock solution) per 100 mL of medium.  Let the medium sit at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes until the resazurin becomes colorless before inoculating.
  4. When the Balch tube is ready to inoculate, thaw the frozen vial at room temperature under a gentle stream of oxygen-free gas.
  5. For inoculation, use a 1.0 mL syringe tipped with 22-gauge needle, withdraw the entire cell suspension from the vial and transfer it to the broth. Using the same needle withdraw 0.5 mL from the broth and inoculate a second Balch tube.  Plate 0.1 mL of the inoculated culture onto a non-selective medium and incubate aerobically at 30oC. 
  6. Growth should be detected in the #1628 broth within 2 to 4 days.  There should be no growth detected on the aerobic plate or broth.


NOTE: Addition of 10-20 mg sodium dithionite per liter (e.g. from 5% w/v solution freshly prepared under N2 and filter-sterilized) may stimulate growth of all strains at the beginning.  For transfers use 5-10% inoculum.  Incubate all strains in the dark.    


  1. Resazurin is a commonly used redox indicator that is pink when the redox potential is above –50 mv.,  and colorless when the redox potential is below –110 mv. i.e. highly reducing.  Most strict anaerobes require this low redox potential for optimum growth.
  2. To obtain a fully reduced medium, it is necessary that the medium be anoxic and that a reducing agent be added.  Common reducing agents are sodium sulfide, cysteine, dithiothreitol, and titanium citrate.
  3. Syringes can be made anaerobic by one of two methods.
    1. Displace the dead space in the syringe with a sterile oxygen-free gas.  
    2. Displace the dead space in the syringe with a reducing agent. 
Handling notes
At 1000x magnification cells are curved rods.  The cells stain Gram-negative.

Additional information on this culture is available on the ATCC® web site at


Deposited as
Desulfobacterium phenolicum Bak and Widdel
Chain of custody
ATCC <-- DSM <-- F Widdel Ph01 <-- F Bak
Type of isolate
Cross references
GenBank AJ237606 16S rRNA sequence

Legal disclaimers

Intended use
This product is intended for laboratory research use only. It is not intended for any animal or human therapeutic use, any human or animal consumption, or any diagnostic use.

The product is provided 'AS IS' and the viability of ATCC® products is warranted for 30 days from the date of shipment, provided that the customer has stored and handled the product according to the information included on the product information sheet, website, and Certificate of Analysis. For living cultures, ATCC lists the media formulation and reagents that have been found to be effective for the product. While other unspecified media and reagents may also produce satisfactory results, a change in the ATCC and/or depositor-recommended protocols may affect the recovery, growth, and/or function of the product. If an alternative medium formulation or reagent is used, the ATCC warranty for viability is no longer valid.  Except as expressly set forth herein, no other warranties of any kind are provided, express or implied, including, but not limited to, any implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, manufacture according to cGMP standards, typicality, safety, accuracy, and/or noninfringement.


This product is intended for laboratory research use only. It is not intended for any animal or human therapeutic use, any human or animal consumption, or any diagnostic use. Any proposed commercial use is prohibited without a license from ATCC.

While ATCC uses reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information on this product sheet, ATCC makes no warranties or representations as to its accuracy. Citations from scientific literature and patents are provided for informational purposes only. ATCC does not warrant that such information has been confirmed to be accurate or complete and the customer bears the sole responsibility of confirming the accuracy and completeness of any such information.

This product is sent on the condition that the customer is responsible for and assumes all risk and responsibility in connection with the receipt, handling, storage, disposal, and use of the ATCC product including without limitation taking all appropriate safety and handling precautions to minimize health or environmental risk. As a condition of receiving the material, the customer agrees that any activity undertaken with the ATCC product and any progeny or modifications will be conducted in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and guidelines. This product is provided 'AS IS' with no representations or warranties whatsoever except as expressly set forth herein and in no event shall ATCC, its parents, subsidiaries, directors, officers, agents, employees, assigns, successors, and affiliates be liable for indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages of any kind in connection with or arising out of the customer's use of the product. While reasonable effort is made to ensure authenticity and reliability of materials on deposit, ATCC is not liable for damages arising from the misidentification or misrepresentation of such materials.

Please see the material transfer agreement (MTA) for further details regarding the use of this product. The MTA is available at

Permits & Restrictions

Import Permit for the State of Hawaii

If shipping to the U.S. state of Hawaii, you must provide either an import permit or documentation stating that an import permit is not required. We cannot ship this item until we receive this documentation. Contact the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA), Plant Industry Division, Plant Quarantine Branch to determine if an import permit is required.



Curated Citations

Bak F, Widdel F. Anaerobic degradation of phenol and phenol derivatives by Desulfobacterium phenolicum sp. nov.. Arch. Microbiol. 146: 177-180, 1986.

Validation list no. 24. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 38: 136-137, 1988.

Kuever J, et al. Reclassification of Desulfobacterium phenolicum as Desulfobacula phenolica comb. nov. and description of strain Sax(T) as Desulfotignum balticum gen. nov., sp. nov.. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 51: 171-177, 2001. PubMed: 11211256

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