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Extremophiles. 2010 Jan;14(1):9-19. doi: 10.1007/s00792-009-0282-y. Epub 2009 Sep 29.

Acidithiobacillus ferrivorans, sp. nov.; facultatively anaerobic, psychrotolerant iron-, and sulfur-oxidizing acidophiles isolated from metal mine-impacted environments.

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


Phenotypic and genotypic analysis was carried out on four iron- and sulfur-oxidizing acidophilic bacteria (the "NO-37 group") isolated from different parts of the world. 16S rRNA phylogeny showed that they are highly related to each other, but are less related to the type strain of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans. The NO-37 group isolates are obligate chemolithoautotrophs, facultative anaerobes, diazotrophic, and psychrotolerant. They are less tolerant of extremely low pH, and in contrast to At. ferrooxidans (T), all of the NO-37 group isolates are motile. The GC contents of genomic DNA of the NO-37 group isolates were around 56 mol% and the DNA-DNA hybridization value between genomic DNA of isolate NO-37 and At. ferrooxidans (T) was 37%. It also appears that the bacteria of the NO-37 group have a different biochemical mechanism for oxidizing ferrous iron than At. ferrooxidans (T); the gene coding for the archetypal rusticyanin (RusA) was not detected in any of the NO-37 group isolates, rather a gene coding for a homologous protein (RusB) was amplified from three of the four novel isolates. Isolates of the NO-37 group clearly belong to a species that is different to those already recognized in the genus Acidithiobacillus, for which the name Acidithiobacillus ferrivorans is proposed.

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