Rod-shaped, thermophilic bacteria with a sheath-like outer structure (‘toga’) were isolated from hot oilfield water of a North Sea oil reservoir. One of the isolates, designated SJ95, is an obligately anaerobic, sheathed, Gram-negative, fermentative bacterium capable of reducing elemental sulfur to hydrogen sulfide and tolerating high salt concentrations. The optimum growth conditions for this isolate are 58–60°C and pH 6·5–7·0 with 3–4% NaCl and 0·7% MgSO .7HO in the medium. Vitamins are required for growth. Growth is stimulated by yeast extract. Cells of strain SJ95vary in size from 1–2 to 40–50 μm in length and are motile with a subpolar flagellation. Cells grown on xylan have xylanase activity, presumably associated with the toga, and glucose isomerase activity was detected in xylose-grown cells. The DNA G+C content is 31 and 34 mol%, determined by the thermal denaturation and HPLC methods, respectively. Phylogenetically, strain SJ95is most closely related to with a 97·7% similarity level between their 16S rDNA sequences. The DNA-DNA reassociation value between the two DNAs was 35·6%. On the basis of differences in genotypic, phenotypic and immunological characteristics, strain SJ95(= DSM 10674) is proposed as the type strain of a new species, . It can be readily distinguished from by its motility.


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