A novel weakly halotolerant, sulfate-reducing bacterium, designated strain RB22, was isolated from exhaust water of a Tunisian oil refinery. Cells of strain RB22 were Gram-negative, motile, vibrio-shaped or sigmoid and non-spore-forming, and occurred singly or in chains. Strain RB22 grew between 15 and 45 °C (optimum, 37 °C) and at pH 4.5 to 9 (optimum, pH 7). NaCl was not required for growth, but the strain tolerated high NaCl concentrations (up to 70 g l) with an optimum of 40 g l. Sulfate, thiosulfate, sulfite and elemental sulfur served as electron acceptors, but not fumarate. Nitrate and nitrite were not reduced. Strain RB22 utilized lactate, formate, fumarate, succinate, glycerol, H+CO and methanol as substrates. The DNA G+C content was found to be 59.6 mol%. Phylogenetic analysis based on the 16S rRNA gene revealed that the isolate was a member of the genus , with no close relatives at the species level (16S rRNA gene sequence similarity of less than 95 %). Strain RB22 exhibited levels of 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity of 94.6 and 94.12 % to the type strains of the closely related species and , respectively. On the basis of genotypic and phylogenetic characteristics, and significant phenotypic differences, we suggest that strain RB22 represents a novel species, for which the name sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is RB22 (=NCIMB 14400=JCM 15076=DSM 19275).


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