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ISME J. 2013 Feb;7(2):452-5. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2012.78. Epub 2012 Aug 9.

Isolation of an aerobic sulfur oxidizer from the SUP05/Arctic96BD-19 clade.

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School of Oceanography, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.


Bacteria from the uncultured SUP05/Arctic96BD-19 clade of gamma proteobacterial sulfur oxidizers (GSOs) have the genetic potential to oxidize reduced sulfur and fix carbon in the tissues of clams and mussels, in oxygen minimum zones and throughout the deep ocean (>200 m). Here, we report isolation of the first cultured representative from this GSO clade. Closely related cultures were obtained from surface waters in Puget Sound and from the deep chlorophyll maximum in the North Pacific gyre. Pure cultures grow aerobically on natural seawater media, oxidize sulfur, and reach higher final cell densities when glucose and thiosulfate are added to the media. This suggests that aerobic sulfur oxidation enhances organic carbon utilization in the oceans. The first isolate from the SUP05/Arctic96BD-19 clade was given the provisional taxonomic assignment 'Candidatus: Thioglobus singularis', alluding to the clade's known role in sulfur oxidation and the isolate's planktonic lifestyle.

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