A strictly anaerobic, spore-forming bacterium (3·0-5·0 × 0·4-0·8 μ), designated strain SR3 (=type strain), which stained Gram-positive and possessed a Grampositive type cell wall was isolated from a methanogenic pilot-scale digester fed with olive mill wastewater (Sfax, Tunisia). It utilized a number of carbohydrates (glucose, fructose, sorbose, galactose, -inositol, sucrose, lactose, cellobiose), organic compounds (lactate, betaine, sarcosine, dimethylglycine, methanethiol, dimethylsulfide), alcohol (methanol) and all methoxylated aromatic compounds only in the presence of yeast extract (0·1%). The end products from carbohydrate fermentation were H, CO, formate, acetate and ethanol, that from lactate was methanol, those from methoxylated aromatics were acetate and butyrate, and that from betaine, sarcosine, dimethylglycine, methanethiol and dimethylsulfide was only acetate. Strain SR3 was non-motile, had a G+C content of 44 mol% and grew optimally at 37 °C and pH 7·4 on a glucose-containing medium. Phylogenetically, the closest relatives of strain SR3 were the non-methoxylated aromatic-degrading and (mean similarity of 98%). On the basis of the phenotypic, genotypic and phylogenetic characteristics of the isolate, it is proposed to designate strain SR3 as sp. nov. The type strain is SR3 (=DSM 12182).


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