The name Tenericutes is derived from the Latin words for soft (tener) and skin (cutis) and unlike Firmicutes, Tenericutes resemble shapeless ‘blobs’ due to their lack of a proper cell wall. Ternericutes are some of the smallest known bacteria and are able to pass through a filter with pores as narrow as 100 nanometers.
Initially, Ternericutes were thought to be closely related to Firmicutes but in fact it seems they evolved into their own unique phylum 65 million years ago, by losing their cell wall and becoming parasitic. Due to their reliance on a host, they are incredibly simple organisms. So far, 16 species have been found to live in humans, while 35 species have been found living in other animals (e.g. dogs, cats, sheep, goats & fish). Certain Tenericutes also form parasitic relationships with plants and insects. Interestingly, these bacteria spread from one plant to another by hitching a ride on the insects that interact with the plants.
|Bacterial profiles: Proteobacteria | Actinobacteria | Acidobacteria | Tenericutes | Firmicutes|