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Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2003 May;53(Pt 3):815-21.

Spirochaeta americana sp. nov., a new haloalkaliphilic, obligately anaerobic spirochaete isolated from soda Mono Lake in California.

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NASA/NSSTC, SD-50, 320 Sparkman Dr., Huntsville, AL 35805, USA. Richard.B.Hoover@NASA.GOV


A novel, obligately anaerobic, mesophilic, haloalkaliphilic spirochaete, strain ASpG1(T), was isolated from sediments of the alkaline, hypersaline Mono Lake in California, USA. Cells of the Gram-negative strain were motile and spirochaete-shaped with sizes of 0.2-0.22 x 8-18 microm. Growth of the strain was observed between 10 and 44 degrees C (optimum 37 degrees C), in 2-12% (w/v) NaCl (optimum 3% NaCl) and between pH 8 and 10.5 (optimum pH 9.5). The novel strain was strictly alkaliphilic, required high concentrations of carbonates in the medium and was capable of utilizing D-glucose, fructose, maltose, sucrose, starch and D-mannitol. End products of glucose fermentation were H2, acetate, ethanol and formate. Strain ASpG(T) was resistant to kanamycin and rifampicin, but sensitive to gentamicin, tetracycline and chloramphenicol. The G + C content of its DNA was 58.5 mol%. DNA-DNA hybridization analysis of strain ASpG1(T) with its most closely related species, Spirochaeta alkalica Z-7491(T), revealed a hybridization value of only 48.7%. On the basis of its physiological and molecular properties, strain ASpG1(T) appears to represent a novel species of the genus Spirochaeta, for which the name Spirochaeta americana is proposed (type strain ASpG1(T) =ATCC BAA-392(T) = DSM 14872(T)).

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