A new strictly anaerobic bacterium (strain BAL-1) has been isolated from a reed bed at Ballarat Goldfields in Australia. The organism grew by reducing arsenate [As(V)] to arsenite [As(III)], using acetate as electron donor and carbon source; acetate alone did not support growth. When BAL-1 was grown with arsenate as the terminal electron acceptor, acetate could be replaced by pyruvate, - and -lactate, succinate, malate, and fumarate but not by H, formate, citrate, glutamate, other amino acids, sugars, or benzoate. With acetate was the electron donor, arsenate could be replaced by nitrate or nitrite but not by sulfate, thiosulfate, or iron oxide. Nitrate was reduced to ammonia via nitrite. The doubling time for growth on acetate (5 mM) plus arsenate (5 mM) or nitrate (5 mM) was 4 h. The G+C content of the DNA is 49 mol%. The 16S rRNA sequence data for the organism support the hypothesis that this organism is phylogenetically unique and at present is the first representative of a new deeply branching lineage of the . This organism is described as gen. nov., sp. nov.


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