, Volume 157, Issue 1, pp 13-17

Isolation and characterization of a strictly xylan-degrading Dictyoglomus from a man-made, thermophilic anaerobic environment

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A thermophilic, strictly anaerobic eubacterium which utilized an unusually limited range of substrates was isolated from a sludge and pulp sample from a paperpulp cooling tank at a paper-board factory in Finland. The organism grew only with beech wood or oat spelt xylan; no growth occurred with soluble sugars, other polysaccharides, peptone, or yeast extract. The organism was rod-shaped, long (up to 20 μm), thin (0.3 μm), gramnegative, and in late-exponential and stationary phase cultures formed “ball of yarn” like structures; endospores were not observed and the organism was not motile. The organism grew fastest (μ=0.08 – 0.09 h-1) at 65 to 75°C and pH 6.5 to 8.4, with a maximum growth temperature between 75 and 80°C and an upper pH limit near 9. During growth on beech xylan the isolate produced only acetate, H2, and CO2 as fermentation products. The guanine + cytosine (G+C) content of the isolates cellular DNA was 34%. The unusual morphology of the isolate is characteristic of the genus Dictyoglomus, and the limited substrate range, higher G+C ratio, and different fermentation products indicated that the isolate was a new species in that genus.