A hyperthermophilic archaeon, strain AL585, was isolated from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent located on the East Pacific Rise at latitude 13 ° N and a depth of 2650 m. The isolate was a strictly anaerobic coccus with a mean cell diameter of 1 μm. The optimum temperature, pH and concentration of sea salt for growth were 95 °C, 7·5 and 30 g l-. Under these conditions, the doubling time and cell yield were 0·5 h and 5 x 10 cells ml-. Strain AL585 grew preferentially in media containing complex proteinaceous carbon sources, glucose and elemental sulfur. The G+C content of the DNA was 47 mol%. Sequencing of the 16S rDNA gene showed that strain AL585 belonged to the genus and was probably a new species. This was confirmed by total DNA hybridization. Consequently, this strain is described as a new species, sp. nov.


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