A mesophilic, Gram-negative, rod-shaped, marine, propionate-oxidizing sulfate reducer (strain M16) was isolated from a water-oil separation system on a North Sea oil platform. The optimum conditions for growth were 31 °C, pH 6.8-7.2 and 1.5-2.0 %(w/v) NaCI and 0.1-0.3% (w/v) MgCl6HO in the medium. The growth yield with sulfate was 4.6 g cell biomass (mol propionate oxidized). Strain M16is nutritionally related to members of the genus Desulfobulbus, but differs in that it has no vitamin requirement and is able to utilize fumarate and malate as carbon and energy sources. Hydrogenase activity measured as hydrogen uptake was mainly membrane-bound and varied with the growth substrate. Highest activity [28 μmol min(mg protein)] was found in cells grown with hydrogen and lowest [50 nmol min(mg protein)] in cells grown with propionate as electron donors for sulfate reduction. Desulforubidin, menaquinone-5(H) and cytochromes of the c- and b-type were present. The fatty acid pattern was similar to that found for Desulfobulbus propionicus. The DNA base composition was 50.6 mol% G+C. Strain M16is equidistantly related to D. propionicus and Desulfobulbus elongatus with 96.1 % 16S rDNA similarity. On the basis of differences in genotypic, phenotypic and immunological characteristics, strain M16(= DSM 8777) is proposed as the type strain of a new species, Desulfobulbus .


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