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Arch Microbiol. 2006 Apr;185(3):212-21. Epub 2006 Jan 24.

Isolation and characterization of Acidicaldus organivorus, gen. nov., sp. nov.: a novel sulfur-oxidizing, ferric iron-reducing thermo-acidophilic heterotrophic Proteobacterium.

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School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, LL57 2UW Bangor, UK.


Thermo-acidophilic prokaryotes isolated from geothermal sites in Yellowstone National Park were identified as novel alpha-Proteobacteria, distantly related (approximately 93% 16S rRNA gene identity) to the mesophilic acidophile Acidisphaera rubrifaciens. One of these isolates (Y008) was shown to be more thermophilic than all previously characterized acidophilic proteobacteria, with a temperature optimum for growth between 50 and 55 degrees C and a temperature maximum of 65 degrees C. Growth was observed in media maintained at pH between 1.75 and 3.0 and was fastest at pH between 2.5 and 3.0. The G + C content of Y008 was 71.8+/-0.9 mol%. The acidophile was able to grow heterotrophically on a range of organic substrates, including various monosaccharides, alcohols and amino acids and phenol, though growth on single organic compounds required the provision of one or more growth factors. The isolate oxidized sulfur to sulfuric acid in media containing yeast extract, but was not capable of autotrophic growth with sulfur as energy source. Growth occurred under aerobic conditions and also in the absence of oxygen via anaerobic respiration using ferric iron as terminal electron acceptor. Based on these genotypic and phenotypic traits, it is proposed that Y008 represents the type species of Acidicaldus organivorus, gen. nov., sp. nov.

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