On the basis of three isolates (strains FC6 [T = type strain], FC4, and RG1) of extremely thermophilic chemolithoautotrophic archaebacteria obtained from solfataric fields on ão Miguel Island, Azores, the new genus is described. These isolates grow obligately chemolithotrophically by reduction of S with H (H-S lithotrophy) and are the first strictly anaerobic members of the order . With a DNA G+C content of 38 mol%, the isolates resemble spp., which, however, are faculatively organotrophic and aerobic S oxidizers. The new isolates are also distinct from spp., which resemble by growing by H-S lithotrophy. However, spp. can also grow aerobically by S oxidation and have G+C contents of 31 mol%. At this time, only one species of the genus is known, sp. nov.; the type strain of is strain FC6 (= DSM 6296).


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