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Syst Appl Microbiol. 2005 Oct;28(8):746-8.

Halothiobacillus neapolitanus strain OSWA isolated from "The Old Sulphur Well" at Harrogate (Yorkshire, England).

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Department of Life Sciences, King's College London, UK.


The "Old Sulphur Well" has a subterranean input of water containing 5.5mM total sulfide, which would be inhibitory to the growth of most bacteria. The obligately chemolithoautotrophic Halothiobacillus neapolitanus is a sulfur bacterium known to tolerate and metabolize high sulfide concentrations, and we report the isolation of H. neapolitanus strain OSWA from this source. Strain OSWA grows well on thiosulfate and tetrathionate as energy sources, and tolerates at least 5mM sulfide. Its specific growth rates and yields in batch culture were 0.22h(-1) and 5.3 gmol(-1) (thiosulfate), and 0.23 h(-1) and 9.5 gmol(-1) (tetrathionate). Its 16S rRNA gene sequence shows >99% identity to reference sequences of H. neapolitanus, and it shares morphological and physiological characteristics typical of the species. It is one of a very small number of strains of H. neapolitanus described to date, and the first to be isolated from an ancient sulfide-rich natural spa.

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