A genus of bacteria closely related to Leptothrix and found in fresh water; S. natans grows a thick biofilm mat in sulfite-containing water, especially that drained from paper mills.
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But this process is foiled by filamentous microbes such as Sphaerotilus natans, which grow long tentacles that suspend sludge and impede settling.
Batie Creek was marked by a strong sewage odor and the presence of Sphaerotilus, a filamentous fungus associated with sewage.
Some bacteriophages have a broad host spectrum that taxonomically includes very distant species, such as Sphaerotilus natans, E.