A new, extremely thermophilic bacterium, designated strain MB4T, was isolated from a Chinese hot spring. The new isolate was an obligately anaerobic, rod-shaped, gram-negative, saccharolytic bacterium. Spore formation was not observed. Growth occurred at temperatures between 50 and 80 degrees C, with an optimum of around 75 degrees C; at pH values between 5.5 and 9.0, with an optimum of 7.0-7.5; and at salinities between 0 and 2.5% NaCl, with an optimum of around 0.2% NaCl. The organism utilized glucose, galactose, maltose, cellobiose, mannose, fructose, lactose, mannitol and starch. Acetate was the main end product from glucose fermentation. Thiosulfate and sulfur were reduced to hydrogen sulfide. Sulfate, sulfite and nitrate were not reduced. Growth was inhibited by hydrogen. The G+C content of the DNA was 33 mol%. Phylogenetic analyses based on the 16S rDNA sequence indicated that the isolate was a new member of the genus Thermoanaerobacter and formed a monophyletic unit within the Thermoanaerobacter cluster. Based on its phenotypic and phylogenetic characteristics, the isolate was proposed as a new species, Thermoanaerobacter tengcongensis. The type strain is MB4T (= Chinese Collection of Microorganisms AS 1.2430T = JCM 11007T).


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