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Int J Syst Bacteriol. 1992 Apr;42(2):263-9.

Comparative sequence analyses on the 16S rRNA (rDNA) of Bacillus acidocaldarius, Bacillus acidoterrestris, and Bacillus cycloheptanicus and proposal for creation of a new genus, Alicyclobacillus gen. nov.

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Department of Biology, University of Houston, Texas 77204-5934.
U Houston, TX


Comparative 16S rRNA (rDNA) sequence analyses performed on the thermophilic Bacillus species Bacillus acidocaldarius, Bacillus acidoterrestris, and Bacillus cycloheptanicus revealed that these organisms are sufficiently different from the traditional Bacillus species to warrant reclassification in a new genus, Alicyclobacillus gen. nov. An analysis of 16S rRNA sequences established that these three thermoacidophiles cluster in a group that differs markedly from both the obligately thermophilic organisms Bacillus stearothermophilus and the facultatively thermophilic organism Bacillus coagulans, as well as many other common mesophilic and thermophilic Bacillus species. The thermoacidophilic Bacillus species B. acidocaldarius, B. acidoterrestris, and B. cycloheptanicus also are unique in that they possess omega-alicylic fatty acid as the major natural membranous lipid component, which is a rare phenotype that has not been found in any other Bacillus species characterized to date. This phenotype, along with the 16S rRNA sequence data, suggests that these thermoacidophiles are biochemically and genetically unique and supports the proposal that they should be reclassified in the new genus Alicyclobacillus.

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