Three strains of an anaerobic thermophilic organoheterotrophic lipolytic alkalitolerant bacterium, gen. nov., sp. nov. (type strain JW/VS-265; DSM 11003), were isolated from alkaline hot springs of Lake Bogoria (Kenya). The cells were nonmotile, non-spore forming, straight or slightly curved rods. At 60°C the pH range for growth determined at 25°C [pH°C] was 7.15 to 9.5, with an optimum between 8.1 and 8.9 (pH60°C of 7.6 and 8.1). At a pH of 8.5 the temperature range for growth was from 52 to 70°C, with an optimum between 60 and 66°C. The shortest doubling time was around 1 h. In pure culture the bacterium grew in a mineral base medium supplemented with yeast extract, tryptone, Casamino Acids, betaine, and crotonate as carbon sources, producing acetate as a major product and constitutively a lipase. During growth in the presence of olive oil, free long-chain fatty acids were accumulated in the medium but the pure culture could not utilize olive oil, triacylglycerols, short- and long-chain fatty acids, and glycerol for growth. In syntrophic coculture ( strain JW/VS-M29) the lipolytic bacteria grew on triacylglycerols and linear saturated and unsaturated fatty acids with 4 to 18 carbon atoms, but glycerol was not utilized. Fatty acids with even numbers of carbon atoms were degraded to acetate and methane, while from odd-numbered fatty acids 1 mol of propionate per mol of fatty acid was additionally formed. 16S rDNA sequence analysis identified and spp. as closest phylogenetic neighbors.


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