A new thermophilic, anaerobic rod-shaped bacterium, strain BI429 was isolated from the gills of a deep-sea vent hydrothermal mussel, , from the Lau Basin (Southwestern Pacific Ocean). Pheno-typically, this isolate exhibited characteristics similar to those described for members of the order . This organism was identified as a member of the genus on the basis of the presence of the typical outer sheath-like structure (toga), its 16S rRNA sequence, and its ability to grow on carbohydrates (sucrose, starch, glucose, maltose, lactose, cellobiose, and galactose). The cells of this organism were gram negative and rod shaped and generally occurred singly or in pairs, rarely occurring as chains with a maximum of five rods. At the optimum temperature for growth (70°C), optimum pH (6.5), and optimum salinity (30 g of NaCl per liter), the doubling time was 100 min. In spite of the high percentage of similarity of its 16S rRNA sequence with that of (98.6%), the weak level of DNA-DNA reassociation with this strain (2%) and particular physiological characteristics allowed us to differentiate this new organism from the sole species of the genus previously described (). On the basis of these observations, we propose that the new organism should be described as a new species, . The type strain of is BI429.


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