A thermophilic, anaerobic, strictly autotrophic, sulphur-reducing bacterium, designated BSA(T = type strain), was isolated from a deep-sea hydrothermal chimney sample collected at the mid-Atlantic ridge. Gram-negative cells occurred singly or in pairs as small highly motile rods. Spores were not observed. The temperature range for growth was 40 to 75°C, with an optimum at 70 °C. The pH range for growth at 70 °C was from 4·4 to 7·5, with an optimum around 6·0. The sea salt concentration range for growth was 15–70 g Iwith an optimum at 35 g I. Elemental sulphur, thiosulphate and sulphite were reduced to hydrogen sulphide. Sulphate and cystine were not reduced. The G+C content of the genomic DNA was 35 mol%. Phylogenetic analyses of the 16S rRNA gene indicated that the strain was a member of the domain and formed a branch that was almost equidistant from members of the orders and The new organism possesses phenotypic and phylogenetic traits that do not allow its classification as a member of any previously described genus; therefore, it is proposed that this isolate should be described as a member of a novel species of a new genus, gen. nov., of which sp. nov. is the type species. The type strain is BSA(= DSM 11699).


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