noun, plural: zoogleas, zoogleae
A jelly-like gram-negative aerobic rod-shaped bacterium that aggregates on gelatinous matrices and composed of extracellular polymer strands of polysaccharides.
Zoogloea comes from the Greek word and translated as “living glue.” It is an aerobic, chemoorganotrophic, non-spore forming bacteria that normally exhibit as a free living in organically polluted fresh water and waste water at any range of treatment.
These bacteria are set in sharply distinguished columns which stick out to form clusters that comprise the recognized growth form. Its cells are non-pigmented in which the older one may be encapsulated.
These organisms are strong oxidase and weak catalase positive. The formations of flocs and films in liquid media at later period of growth are eminent by fingerlike morphology. Mature colonies are firm and solid that can be easily lifted from agar surface with a needle. Zoogloeas are not particular in its nutrition thus, can be easily cultured on a variety of organic carbon sources in a simple medium.
Ecologically, this organism plays an essential part in wastewater treatment through its capacity to lower biological oxygen demand and by upholding the arrangement of sludge deposits. It is known that typical sludge bacteria are responsible for the formation of sludge flocs wherein these compacted flocs settled at the bottom of the treatment tanks to help out in purification process.
Word Origin: zoo= “living animal” + gloea = “glue”
• zoogloeal (adjective)