A genus of motile, nonsporeforming, aerobic bacteria (family Spirillaceae) containing Gram-negative, rigid, helical cells that are 0.3–1.2 μm in diameter. Motile cells contain bipolar fascicles of flagella. There is no growth anaerobically with nitrate. These organisms are chemoorganotrophic and possess a strictly respiratory metabolism; they neither oxidize nor ferment carbohydrates; found in marine environments. There are at present five species in this genus, of which the type species is O. linum. [L. oceanus, ocean, + spirillum, coil]

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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