More than 40 isolates of a novel, ubiquitous, proteolytic, moderately alkaliphilic, thermophilic obligate anaerobe were obtained from geothermally and anthropogenically heated environments and mesobiotic environments located on three continents. Whole-cell protein sodium dodecyl sulfate gel electrophoresis revealed that most of these organisms are very similar. Eight of the isolates were characterized in detail; this analysis included 16S ribosomal DNA sequence analysis. The cells of those organisms are (depending on the isolate) 0.5 to 0.8 μm in diameter and 1.5 to 13 μm long, exhibit tumbling motility, and have a positive Gram stain reaction. The temperature range for growth is 43° to 75°C (optimum temperature, 66°C), and the pH range for growth is 5.4 to 9.5 (optimum pH, 8.2); the shortest doubling time is around 10 min. Yeast extract is required for growth, and (depending on the strain) glucose, sucrose, fructose, galactose, and ribose are utilized. The fermentation products from glucose in the presence of yeast extract are CO, H, acetate, formate, and ethanol. The G+C content is 30 to 31 mol%. On the basis of these properties, which differentiate these strains from all alkalitolerant thermophiles described previously, and the results of a comparison of the 16S ribosomal DNA sequences of these organisms with previously described sequences, we propose that our isolates be placed in a single species of the new genus ; strain JW/YL-NZ35 is the type strain of the the type species, .


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