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A genus of rod-shaped, Gram-negative, non-spore forming, predominantly motile enterobacteria with diameters around 0.7 to 1.5 µm, lengths from 2 to 5 µm, and flagella which project in all directions (i.e. peritrichous). They are chemoorganotrophs, obtaining their energy from oxidation and reduction reactions using organic sources, and are facultative anaerobes; most species produce hydrogen sulfide, which can readily be detected by growing them on media containing ferrous sulfate, such as TSI. Most isolates exist in two phases; phase I is the motile phase and phase II the nonmotile phase.