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Arch Microbiol. 2007 Dec;188(6):665-75. Epub 2007 Jul 28.

Thiocapsa imhoffii, sp. nov., an alkaliphilic purple sulfur bacterium of the family Chromatiaceae from Soap Lake, Washington (USA).

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Department of Microbiology, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL 62901-6508, USA.


An alkaliphilic purple sulfur bacterium, strain SC5, was isolated from Soap Lake, a soda lake located in east central Washington state (USA). Cells of strain SC5 were gram-negative, non-motile, and non-gas vesiculate cocci, often observed in pairs or tetrads. In the presence of sulfide, elemental sulfur was deposited internally. Liquid cultures were pink to rose red in color. Cells contained bacteriochlorophyll a and spirilloxanthin as major photosynthetic pigments. Internal photosynthetic membranes were of the vesicular type. Optimal growth of strain SC5 occurred in the absence of NaCl (range 0-4%), pH 8.5 (range pH 7.5-9.5), and 32 degrees C. Photoheterotrophic growth occurred in the presence of sulfide or thiosulfate with only a limited number of organic carbon sources. Growth factors were not required, and cells could fix N2. Dark, microaerobic growth occurred in the presence of both an organic carbon source and thiosulfate. Sulfide and thiosulfate served as electron donors for photoautotrophy, which required elevated levels of CO2. Phylogenetic analysis placed strain SC5 basal to the clade of the genus Thiocapsa in the family Chromatiaceae with a 96.7% sequence similarity to its closest relative, Thiocapsa roseopersicina strain 1711T (DSM217T). The unique assemblage of physiological and phylogenetic properties of strain SC5 defines it as a new species of the genus Thiocapsa, and we describe strain SC5 herein as Tca. imhoffii, sp. nov.

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