Is there a publically available database of microbes that contains what their wastes and chemical food sources are in addition to other traits.

So that I could do like a sorted search for microbes that eat Ammonia or excrete sulfuric acid?

Cant seem to Google this one.


2 Answers 2


You could try to look into the kegg database. It's main purpose is to describe biochemical pathways, but it also has information on which species actually have these pathways (not sure how well this annotation is for bacteria though).

You should be able to pinpoint a few key pathways that start on free ammonia or have sulphuric acid as a sink/endpoint and then check for all annotated species. I wouldnt expect such lists to be comprehensive, but it should give you at least a starting point.

As an example the Nitrification and Anammox sub-pathways of the Nitrogen-metabolism page show direct usage/incorporation of free ammonia. If you click on some of the enzymes/genes (the boxes with numbers) and follow through to the 'taxonomy' box under genes, you'll get a list of some bacteria species each.


Make a list of all named bacterial species (Bacteria I. Taxonomy: Genera and Species) and search the Internet with the names of the species and the keyword(s) of your interest. Alternatively, collect all descriptions of the bacterial species by following the links in Bacteria I. Taxonomy: Genera and Species, and search the descriptions for the keyword(s) of your interest.

Note that there are more than 16,095 named bacterial species . . . I am building a database of the descriptions of bacterial species, but it is a mammoth (multi-year) undertaking and I started only few months ago. Meanwhile, if you can get access to Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology, there you can find the descriptions of many (but not all) bacterial species.

  • $\begingroup$ Right, I never thought anyone would have a complete database, I was looking more for ecosystem building purposes. Trying to cobble together a system based on inputs and outputs (granted I know theres a lot more to them like conditions, etc, etc, gotta start somwehere). but thanks for the attempt $\endgroup$
    – anon
    Commented Sep 2, 2018 at 21:23
  • $\begingroup$ To get the big picture, you can start at higher hierarchical levels: phyla and classes: bacteria.martinklvana.com/book3.htm (Unlike the descriptions of genera and species, the descriptions of most phyla and classes are not in publicly available papers but in the Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology.) $\endgroup$
    – user37894
    Commented Sep 2, 2018 at 21:28

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