A new phenotypic group of Bifidobacterium strains, isolated from an anaerobic digester for the treatment of waste water from a bean-curd farm, was described previously. In this study, the DNA-DNA relatedness between strain 36 (type strain, AS 1.2282T) of this new group and the type strains of other described Bifidobacterium species was analysed. The low level of DNA homology (0-58.9%) as well as comparison of the 16S rDNA sequences confirmed the distinct phylogenetic position of strain 36. In addition, the new species differed from other Bifidobacterium species in its phenotypic characteristics, such as its growth at moderately thermophilic conditions (49.5 degrees C) and at relatively low pH (4.0), as well as its sugar-fermentation pattern. On the basis of phenotypic, genetic and phylogenetic studies, a new Bifidobacterium species, Bifidobacterium thermacidophilum sp. nov., was designated.


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