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Int J Syst Bacteriol. 1998 Apr;48 Pt 2:475-9.

Desulfurella kamchatkensis sp. nov. and desulfurella propionica sp. nov., new sulfur-respiring thermophilic bacteria from Kamchatka thermal environments.

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Institute of Microbiology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.


Two strains of moderately thermophilic bacteria, which reduce elemental sulfur to hydrogen sulfide, were isolated from volcanic sources in Kamchatka. Strain K-119T was obtained from a thermophilic microbial community associated with Thermothrix thiopara, and strain U-8T was isolated from a cyanobacterial mat inhabiting a sulfide-rich hot spring. Cells of both strains are short Gram-negative rods, motile with one polar flagellum (strain K-119T) or non-motile (strain U-8T). Both strains are obligate anaerobes, have temperature otima of 54-55 degrees C and pH optima of 6.9-7.2. Molecular hydrogen, acetate, fumarate, malate, pyruvate, lactate and long-chain saturated fatty acids served as growth substrates for both species; strain U-8T was also able to grow on propionate. All substrates were oxidized completely, H2S and CO2 being the only metabolic products. Elemental sulfur was obligately required for growth of strain K-119T, whereas strain U-8T was able to grow also with thiosulfate as electron acceptor and on pyruvate without an external electron acceptor. The DNA G + C contents of strains K-119T and U-8T were 31.6 and 32.2 mol%, respectively. Phenotypic features and the results of 16S rRNA sequencing indicate the affiliation of the new isolates to the genus Desulfurella. The DNA-DNA hybridization with Desulfurella acetivorans was 40% for strain K-119T and 55% for strain U-8T; the DNA-DNA hybridization between the new isolates was 32%. Based on the results of morphological, physiological and phylogenetic studies the following two new species are proposed: Desulfurella kamchatkensis sp. nov. with the type strain K-119T (= DSM 10409T) and Desulfurella propionica sp. nov. with the type strain U-8T (= DSM 10410T).

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