Thermotoga maritima sp. nov. represents a new genus of unique extremely thermophilic eubacteria growing up to 90°C
A novel type of bacterium has been isolated from various geothermally heated locales on the sea floor. The organisms are strictly anaerobic, rod-shaped, fermentative, extremely thermophilic and grow between 55 and 90°C with an optimum of around 80°C. Cells show a unique sheath-like structure and monotrichous flagellation. By 16S rRNA sequencing they clearly belong to the eubacteria, although no close relationship to any known group could be detected. The majority of their lipids appear to be unique in structure among the eubacteria. Isolate MSB8 is described as Thermotoga maritima, representing the new genus Thermotoga.