A bacterium of an order that typically has a nonmotile filamentous form. They include the economically important streptomycetes, and were formerly regarded as fungi.
Order Actinomycetales; Gram-positive
- ‘In the composting process, the tissues of carcasses are broken down aerobically by bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes, and protozoa to produce water vapor, carbon dioxide, heat, and a stabilized organic residue.’
- ‘Many antibiotics come from bacteria, actinomycetes, and fungi.’
- ‘Actinomycosis is a chronic infection caused by various bacteria called actinomycetes.’
- ‘Farmer's lung disease is a hypersensitivity pneumonitis caused by the inhalation of thermophilic actinomycetes that grow in moldy hay or straw.’
- ‘Many drugs, including the antibiotic streptomycin, are derived from soil microbes called actinomycetes.’
1920s (originally only in the plural): modern Latin, from Greek aktis, aktin- ‘ray’ + mukētes, plural of mukēs ‘fungus’.