A gram-negative bacterium which was capable of oxidizing reduced inorganic sulfur compounds was isolated from agricultural soil and designated BI-42. This new isolate grew on a wide range of organic substrates but was not able to grow autotrophically and lacked ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase, a key enzyme of carbon dioxide fixation. These results suggested that strain BI-42 was a chemolithoheterotroph. Ammonia and nitrate were not used as sole nitrogen sources for growth, and strain BI-42 lacked glutamate synthase activity, which resulted in glutamate auxotrophy. The glutamate dehydrogenase activity of this organism was apparently insufficient for ammonia assimilation. On the basis of the results of additional biochemical tests, the G+C content of the DNA, the results of a respiratory ubiquinone analysis, the results of a 16S ribosomal DNA sequence analysis, the fatty acid composition, and the results of a membrane lipid analysis, strain BI-42 was identified as a phylogenetically and physiologically distinct taxon belonging to the alpha subclass of the gen. nov., sp. nov. is the name proposed for this taxon.


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