Aerobic endospore-forming bacteria were isolated from soils taken from active fumaroles on Mount Rittmann and Mount Melbourne in northern Victoria Land, Antarctica, and from active and inactive fumaroles on Candlemas Island, South Sandwich archipelago. The Mt Rittmann and Mt Melbourne soils yielded a dominant, moderately thermophilic and acidophilic, aerobic endospore-former growing at pH 5.5 and 50 degrees C, and further strains of the same organism were isolated from a cold, dead fumarole at Clinker Gulch, Candlemas Island. Amplified rDNA restriction analysis, SDS-PAGE and routine phenotypic tests show that the Candlemas Island isolates are not distinguishable from the Mt Rittmann strains, although the two sites are 5600 km apart, and 16S rDNA sequence comparisons and DNA relatedness data support the proposal of a new species, Bacillus fumarioli, the type strain of which is LMG 17489T.


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