A novel thermophilic, strictly anaerobic, thiosulfate-reducing bacterium, designated strain ToBE(T), was isolated from a geothermal aquifer at a depth of 550 m in the Toyoha Mines (Hokkaido, Japan). The cells of this bacterium were rod-shaped (0.6 x 2.6 microm), non-motile and sporulating. Strain ToBE(T) was able to grow on formate, lactate, pyruvate or various sugars in the presence of thiosulfate as an electron acceptor. The strain could grow at 55-73 degrees C and pH 5.5-8.5. The optimum temperature and pH for the growth were 70 degrees C and pH 6.5. The G+C content of the DNA was 49.6 mol %. The major quinone and cellular fatty acids were respectively menaquinone-7 and iso-C15:0 and iso-C17:0. Analysis of the 16S rDNA revealed that the isolate was a member of the gram-positive bacteria and was related to the genus Thermoanaerobacter. However, the phylogenetic tree showed that the strain was distant from any other known bacteria, with sequence similarities of less than 90%. On the basis of phenotypic features and phylogenetic analysis, the name Thermanaeromonas toyohensis gen. nov., sp. nov., is proposed for the isolate, with strain ToBE(T) (= DSM 14490T = JCM 11376T) as the type strain.


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