A novel hyperthermophilic, heterotrophic, rod-shaped archaeon was isolated from a terrestrial hot spring at Oguni-cho, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. The new isolate, strain TE7T, grew under aerobic, microaerobic and anaerobic conditions. Isolate TE7T grew optimally at 90-94 degrees C and pH 7.0-7.5 (adjusted at 25 degrees C) under atmospheric air with vigorous shaking. Strain TE7T cells were motile rods 2-10 microm in length and covered with a surface-layer lattice. Cell yields at 90 degrees C under aerobic conditions were twice that under anaerobic conditions. Under aerobic conditions, growth was inhibited by elemental sulfur, but thiosulfate stimulated growth. Under anaerobic conditions, no growth was observed in the presence of nitrate and nitrite, but elemental sulfur, thiosulfate, L-cystine and oxidized glutathione stimulated growth. The 16S rDNA sequence of TE7T exhibited a close relationship to the sequences of Pyrobaculum aerophilum and Thermoproteus neutrophilus, which belong to the cluster of the genus Pyrobaculum. DNA-DNA hybridization analysis showed a low level of DNA similarity between TE7T and previously described Pyrobaculum species. As TE7T is phenotypically and phylogenetically different from the other members of this genus, it is described as a new species named Pyrobaculum oguniense (type strain TE7T = JCM 10595T = DSM 13380T).


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