Several acidophilic, slightly thermophilic or thermophilic Gram-positive isolates were recovered from solfataric soil at Furnas on the Island of São Miguel in the Azores. Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequence showed that these organisms represented two novel species of the genus Alicyclobacillus. Strains FR-11T and FR-1b had an optimum growth temperature of about 50 degrees C, whereas strains FR-3 and FR-6T had an optimum growth temperature of about 60 degrees C. Biochemical, physiological and chemotaxonomic characteristics did not distinguish isolates FR-3 and FR-6T from the type strain of Alicyclobacillus acidocaldarius; however, strains FR-11T and FR-1b could be easily distinguished from the type strain of Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris by the carbon source assimilation pattern and the fatty acid composition. On the basis of the phylogenetic analysis, physiological and biochemical characteristics, and fatty acid composition the name Alicyclobacillus hesperidum is proposed for the species represented by strains FR-11T and FR-1b; a formal name for the new genomic species represented by strains FR-3 and FR-6T is not proposed at this time.


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