Burkholderia (Pseudomonas) pseudomallei
Legend: + positive, - negative, nd not determined
Differential caracters among B. ubonensis, B. thailandensis and B. pseudomallei:
B. ubonensis
B. thailandensis
B. pseudomallei
L-arabinose assimilation
D-xylose assimilation
5-ketogluconate assimilation
erythritol assimilation
maltose assimilation
Cultural characteristics
Biochemical characters
Phylum Proteobacteria, Class Gammaproteobacteria, Order Pseudomonadales, Family Pseudomonadaceae, Genus Pseudomonas,
Pseudomonas pseudomallei
(Bacillus pseudomallei Whitmore 1913), Haynes 1957
Moved to
Burkholderia pseudomallei Yabuuchi et al. 1993.   Old synonyms: Bacterium whitmori  Stanton and Fletcher 1921;
Malleomyces pseudomallei Breed 1939; Loefflerella pseudomallei Brindle and Cowan 1951.

Burkholderia pseudomallei, B. thailandensis, B. ubonensis & B. oklahomensis are phenotypically very similar.
No character can differentiate
Burkholderia oklahomensis from B. pseudomallei.
Gram-negative rods, 0.8-1.5 μm, motile by polar multitrichous flagella.
Accumulate poli-beta-hydroxybutyrate granules especially in nitrogen-deficient media.
Colonies vary from rough to mucoid and from cream to bright orange. Strictly aerobic
(except in media with nitrate), optimal temperature 37-39 ºC, grow at 42 ºC. Grow on
media: Trypticase Soy Agar  ± 5% sheep blood, Trypticase Soy Broth, Mueller-Hinton
Agar, MacConkey agar, EMB Agar. No growth factors required.
Isolated from soil, water, clinical specimens (sputum, blood, abscesses).
Cause melioidosis in sheep, goats, pigs, horses and other animals, also in humans
(skin, lungs or septicemia). Bacteria produces exo- and endotoxins with possible
implication in melioidosis.
Can poduce a polysaccharide capsule, protecting the cell from phagocytosis.
  1. George M. Garrity, Julia A. Bell and Timothy Lilburn: Class II. Betaproteobacteria, Order I. Burkholderiales in: Bergey's Manual of
    Systematic Bacteriology, vol. 2, part C: The Alpha-, Beta-, Delta-, and Epsilonproteobacteria, George M. Garrity (Editor-in-Chief),
    2005, 575-623.
  2. Haynes W.C.: Genus I. Pseudomonas Migula 1894. In: R.S. Breed, E.G.D. Murray and N.R. Smith(eds): Bergey's Manual of
    Determinative Bacteriology, 7th edition, The Williams & Wilkins Co, Baltimore, 1957, pp. 89-152.
  3. Yabuuchi E., Kosako Y., Oyaizu H., Yano I., Hotta H., Hashimoto Y., Ezaki T. & Arakawa M.: proposal of Burkholderia gen. nov. and
    transfer of seven species of the genus Pseudomonas homology group II to the new genus, with the type species Burkholderia
    cepacia (Palleroni and Holmes 1981) comb. nov. Microbiol. Immunol., 1992, 36, 1251-1275.
  4. Brett P J, DeShazer D, Woods DE (1998). Burkholderia thailandensis sp. nov., a Burkholderia pseudomallei-like species. Int J
    Syst Bacteriol 48: 317–320.
  5. Glass M.B., Steigerwalt A.G., Jordan J.G., Wilkins P.P. and Gee J.E.: B. oklahomensis sp. nov., a Burkholderia pseudomallei-like
    species formerly known as the Oklahoma strain of Pseudomonas pseudomallei. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol., 2006, 56, 2171-2176.
  6. Brett P J, DeShazer D, Woods DE (1998). Burkholderia thailandensis sp. nov., a Burkholderia pseudomallei-like species. Int J
    Syst Bacteriol 48: 317–320.
  7. Yabuuchi E., Kawamura Y., Ezaki T., Ikedo M., Dejsirilert S., Fujiwara N., Naka T. and Kobayashi K.: Burkholderia uboniae sp. nov.,
    L-arabinose-assimilating but different from Burkholderia thailandensis and Burkholderia vietnamiensis. Microbiol. Immunol.,
    2000, 44, 307-317.
Many strains are capable of fermentation of sugars without gas formation.  
Positive results for arginine dihydrolase, gelatin liquefaction, nitrate reduction, starch hydrolysis & oxidase.
Can utilize acetate, N-acetylglucosamine, adipate, D- and L-alanine, beta-alanine, gamma-aminobutyrate, D-arabinose, L-arginine,
L-aspartate, benzoate, betaine, cellobiose, D-fucose, fumarate, galactose, glucose, L-glutamate, glycerate, glycerol, hippurate,
L-histamine, beta-hydroxybutyrate, p-hydroxybenzoate, m-inositol, alpha-ketoglutarate, lactate, L-malate, mannitol, mannose,
phenylacetate, poly-beta-hydroxybutyrate, propionate, pyruvate, quinate, sorbitol, succinate, sucrose, L-threonine, trehalose, tryptamine,
L-tyrosine, aconitate, 2-aminobenzoate, alpha-amylamine, D-arabitol, benzoylformate, butylamine, caprate, caproate, L-cysteine,
dulcitol, erythritol, ethanol, ethanolamine, L-fucose, glycogen, heptanoate, isobutyrate, L-isoleucine, isovalerate, kynurenate,
kynurenine, levulinate, L-lysine, pelargonate, putrescine, ribose, sebacate, valerate, delta-aminovalerate, anthranilate, butyrate,
caprylate, citrate, fructose, gluconate, 2-ketogluconate, maltose, L-phenylalanine, L-proline, putrescine, salicin, L-serine, suberate,
starch & L-valine.

Negative results for ONPG, indole production & urease.
No utilization of glycine, D-xylose, alpha-aminobutyrate, L-arabinose, malonate, acetamide, aesculin, m-aminobenzoate,
p-aminobenzoate, alpha-aminovalerate, amygdalin, arbutin, benzylamine, n-butanol, 2,3-butylene glycol, citraconate, L-citrulline,
creatine, dodecane, ethylene glycol, gentiobiose, geraniol, glycolate, histamine, m-hydroxybenzoate, o-hydroxybenzoate,
hydroxymethylglutarate, inulin, isobutanol, isophthalate, isopropanol, 5-ketogluconate, lactose, L-leucine, lyxose, maleate,
D-mandelate, melibiose, mesaconate, methanol, methylamine, mucate, nicotinate, norleucine, L-ornithine, oxalate, pantothenate,
phenol, phenylethanediol, phthalate, n-propanol, propylene glycol, raffinose, L-rhamnose, saccharate, salicinc, tagatose, D(-)-tartrate,
L(+)-tartrate, meso-tartrate, terephthalate, testosterone, tryptamine, D-tryptophan & xylitol.

Variable utilization of azelate, glutarate, D-malate, pimelate, sarcosine, trigonelline, adonitol, ethanol, hexadecane, L-mandelate &  
(c) Costin Stoica
Culture media
Biochemical tests
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