A new strictly anaerobic, moderate thermophilic (optimum temperature, 45°C), cellulolytic, sporeforming bacterium was isolated from Thai compost. The cells of this organism stained gram positive but became gram negative as cultures reached stationary phase. They were nonmotile rods and formed terminal oval spores which swelled the cells. The deep colonies of this organism were spindle shaped and yellowish white. A variety of carbohydrates, such as cellobiose, esculin, and xylose, served as substrates for growth. Ethanol, acetate, butyrate, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide were produced during growth on cellulose or cellobiose. This organism hydrolyzed crystalline cellulose, rice straw, and other cellulosic materials without any chemical pretreatment. Optimal growth occurred at 45°C and pH 7.0. The deoxyribonucleic acid base composition was 40 mol% guanine plus cytosine. The name sp. nov. is proposed for this new isolate, and the type strain has been deposited in the Fermentation Research Institute, Tsukuba, Japan, as strain FERM P-9684.


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