A novel genus and species, Methylocapsa acidiphila gen. nov., sp. nov., are proposed for a methane-oxidizing bacterium isolated from an acidic Sphagnum peat bog. This bacterium, designated strain B2T, represents aerobic, gram-negative, colourless, non-motile, curved coccoids that form conglomerates covered by an extracellular polysaccharide matrix. The cells use methane and methanol as sole sources of carbon and energy and utilize the serine pathway for carbon assimilation. Strain B2T is a moderately acidophilic organism with growth between pH 4.2 and 7.2 and at temperatures from 10 to 30 degrees C. The cells possess a well-developed system of intracytoplasmic membranes (ICM) packed in parallel on only one side of the cell membrane. This type of ICM structure represents a novel arrangement, which was termed type III. The resting cells are Azotobacter-type cysts. Strain B2T is capable of atmospheric nitrogen fixation; it possesses particulate methane monooxygenase and does not express soluble methane monooxygenase. The major phospholipid fatty acid is 18:1omega7c and the major phospholipids are phosphatidylglycerols. The G+C content of the DNA is 63.1 mol%. This bacterium belongs to the alpha-subclass of the Proteobacteria and is most closely related to the acidophilic methanotroph Methylocella palustris KT (97.3% 16S rDNA sequence similarity). However, the DNA-DNA hybridization value between strain B2T and Methylocella palustris K(T) is only 7%. Thus, strain B2T is proposed to comprise a novel genus and species, Methylocapsa acidiphila gen. nov., sp. nov. Strain B2T (= DSM 13967T = NCIMB 13765T) is the type strain.


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