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Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2005 Jul;55(Pt 4):1697-703.

The first true obligately syntrophic propionate-oxidizing bacterium, Pelotomaculum schinkii sp. nov., co-cultured with Methanospirillum hungatei, and emended description of the genus Pelotomaculum.

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Laboratory of Microbiology, Wageningen University, Hesselink van Suchtelenweg 4, 6703 CT Wageningen, The Netherlands.


A Gram-positive, spore-forming, syntrophic propionate-oxidizing bacterium, Pelotomaculum schinkii sp. nov. strain HH(T), was isolated as a co-culture with Methanospirillum hungatei JF-1(T) from anaerobic, freeze-dried granular sludge obtained from an upflow anaerobic sludge bed reactor treating sugar beet wastewater. The bacterium converted propionate to acetate in co-culture with Methanospirillum hungatei JF-1(T) or Methanobacterium formicicum MF(NT), but not in co-culture with Methanobrevibacter arboriphilus AZ. The organism could not be cultured axenically with any of the substrates tested and therefore can be considered as a (the first) true anaerobic syntrophic bacterium. The bacterium contained two distinct 16S rRNA gene sequences, with 96.8% sequence similarity, which were both expressed during syntrophic growth on propionate as revealed by fluorescent in situ hybridization. The most closely related organisms are Cryptanaerobacter phenolicus LR7.2(T), a bacterium that transforms phenol into benzoate, and Pelotomaculum thermopropionicum SI(T), a thermophilic, syntrophic propionate-oxidizing bacterium. Other related species belong to the Gram-positive, sulfate-reducing genus Desulfotomaculum. The type strain of Pelotomaculum schinkii is strain HH(T) (=ATCC BAA-615(T)=DSM 15200(T)).

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