Strain GKNTAU has been described as a bacterium able to ferment the organosulfonate taurine (2-aminoethanesulfonate) quantitatively to acetate, ammonia and thiosulfate, an unusual metabolic product. This novel fermentation has now also been observed in four independent isolates from two continents. All five organisms were strictly anaerobic, Gram-positive, motile, spore-forming bacteria. Enrichments with isethionate (2-hydroxyethanesulfonate) and cysteate (2-amino-3-sulfopropionate), in contrast, yielded bacteria that disproportionated the sulfonate to sulfate and sulfide. The phylogenetic location of the taurine fermenters was analysed on the basis of 16S rDNA sequences. Strain GKNTAU (= DSM 11270 = ATCC 700533) is described as the type strain of a new genus and species, for which the name gen. nov., sp. nov. is proposed.


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