Definition: Escherichia () is a genus of Gram-negative, non-spore-forming, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped bacteria from the family Enterobacteriaceae. In those species which are inhabitants of the gastrointestinal tracts of warm-blooded animals, Escherichia species provide a portion of the microbially derived vitamin K for their host. A number of the species of Escherichia are pathogenic. The genus is named after Theodor Escherich, the discoverer of Escherichia coli. Escherichia are facultative aerobes, with both aerobic and anaerobic growth, and an optimum temperature of 37 °C. Escherichia are usually motile by flagella, produce gas from fermentable carbohydrates, and do not decarboxylate lysine or hydrolyze arginine. Species include E. albertii, E. fergusonii, E. hermannii, E. ruysiae, E. marmotae and most notably, the model organism and clinically relevant E. coli. Shimwellia blattae and Pseudescherichia vulneris were formerly classified in this genus.

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