A strictly anaerobic, irregularly coccoid, methanogenic archaeon, strain MG62T (= JCM 10825T = DSM 13459T), was isolated from paddy field soil in Chikugo, Fukuoka, Japan. The cells stained gram-negative, were 1.0-2.0 microm in diameter, were lysed by SDS and hypotonic solutions and were flagellated. Motility was not observed. The strain was able to use H2/CO2, 2-propanol/CO2, formate, 2-butanol/CO2 and cyclopentanol/CO2 as substrates for methanogenesis, but did not utilize acetate, ethanol, methanol or methylamines. The optimum temperature and pH were 25-30 degrees C and 6.7-7.2. Analysis of lipid component parts (core lipids, phospholipid polar head groups and glycolipid sugar moieties) showed the characteristic pattern of members of the family Methanomicrobiaceae except for the absence of glucose as a glycolipid sugar moiety. The G+C content of the DNA was 62.2 mol %. Sequence analysis of the 16S rDNA revealed that the strain belonged to the genus Methanoculleus. The strain had DNA-DNA hybridization values of less than 50% with type strains of Methanoculleus species. On the basis of phenotypic, genotypic and phylogenetic characteristics, the name Methanoculleus chikugoensis sp. nov. is proposed for strain MG62T (= JCM 10825T = DSM 13459T). The DNA hybridization study also revealed the close relationships of three species, Methanoculleus olentangyi, Methanoculleus bourgensis and Methanoculleus oldenburgensis, among Methanoculleus species.


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