A thermo-acidophilic gram-positive bacterium, strain CP-1T, which grows aerobically at 35-65 degrees C (optimum 55-60 degrees C) and at pH 3.5-6.0 (optimum pH 4.5-5.0), was isolated from a herbal tea made from the dried flowers of hibiscus. Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that this bacterium was clearly distinguishable from previously described species of the genera Alicyclobacillus and Sulfobacillus. Strain CP-1T had unique omega-cycloheptane fatty acids as the major membrane lipid component, a characteristic which is peculiar to Alicyclobacillus cycloheptanicus. However, phenotypic and chemotaxonomic characteristics of strain CP-1T were different from those of the type strain of A. cycloheptanicus. DNA-DNA hybridization between the type strains of Alicyclobacillus species and Sulfobacillus disulfidooxidans was <20%, indicating that strain CP-1T represents a distinct species. On the basis of these results, the name Alicyclobacillus herbarius is proposed for this organism. The type strain is strain CP-1T (= DSM 13609T = IAM 14883T = NRIC 0477T).


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