A novel acid-tolerant, hydrogenotrophic methanogen, isolate ATMT, was obtained from an enrichment performed at pH 5.0 using slurry from an acidogenic digester running on alcohol distillery waste. The original pH of the slurry was 5.7 and the volatile fatty acid concentration was 9000 p.p.m. Cells of isolate ATMT were Gram-positive, non-motile and 0.3-0.5 microm in size. They did not form spores. The isolate could grow in the pH range 5.0-7.5, with maximum growth at pH 6.0. The optimum temperature for growth was 35 degrees C. Formate, acetate, methanol, trimethylamine, 2-propanol and 2-butanol were not utilized as growth substrates. Rumen fluid and acetate were required for growth on H2/CO2. Coenzyme M and 2-methylbutyric acid were not required in the presence of rumen fluid. 16S rDNA sequence analysis confirmed the signature sequence of the genus Methanobrevibacter. Morphological and biochemical characteristics of the isolate, together with the 16S rDNA sequence analysis, clearly revealed that the isolate could not be accommodated within any of the existing species of the genus Methanobrevibacter. Therefore, it is proposed that a novel species of the genus Methanobrevibacter should be created for this isolate, Methanobrevibacter acididurans sp. nov., and the type strain is


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