During a study of microbial communities in athalassic bodies of water, three new species within the genus were described. These are alkaliphilic sp. nov. Z-7491 (DSM 8900) and halophilic sp. nov. Z-7692 (DSM 8902) from the soda-depositing Lake Magadi in Central Africa and haloalkaliphilic sp. nov. Z-7591 (DSM 8901) from Lake Khatyn, Central Asia. These mesophilic spirochetes develop at pHs of >9 as anaerobic saccharolytic dissipotrophs. The DNA base compositions (moles percent G+C) of the strains were as follows: -7491, 57.1; -7692, 56.1; and -7591, 49.2. The optimum growth parameters (temperature, pH, and NaCl concentration [percent, wt/vol], respectively) were as follows: for -7491, 35°C, 9.2, and 5 to 7%; for -7692, 35°C, 9.3, and 5 to 7%; and for -7591, 35°C, 8.9, and 3 to 6%. The products of glucose fermentation were acetate, hydrogen, ethanol, and lactate, in different proportions, for and ; for , they were acetate, ethanol, and lactate. is strictly anaerobic, while and are rather aerotolerant. All three species group within the radiation of the majority of the species of the genus . Studies of the genes encoding 16S rRNA indicate a possible fanning out of the phylogenetic tree of spirochetes.


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