, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 165-178

Desulfotomaculum geothermicum sp. nov., a thermophilic, fatty acid-degrading, sulfate-reducing bacterium isolated with H2 from geothermal ground water

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A strictly anaerobic, thermophilic, fatty acids-degrading, sporulating sulfate-reducing bacterium was isolated from geothermal ground water. The organism stained Gram-negative and formed gas vacuoles during sporulation. Lactate, ethanol, fructose and saturated fatty acids up to C18 served as electron donors and carbon sources with sulfate as external electron acceptor. Benzoate was not used. Stoichiometric measurements revealed a complete oxidation of part of butyrate although growth with acetate as only electron donor was not observed. The rest of butyrate was oxidized to acetate. The strain grew chemolithoautotrophically with hydrogen plus sulfate as energy source and carbon dioxide as carbon source without requirement of additional organic carbon like acetate. The strain contained a c-type cytochrome and presumably a sulfite reductase P582. Optimum temperature, pH and NaCl concentration for growth were 54°C, pH 7.3–7.5 and 25 to 35 g NaCl/l. The G+C content of DNA was 50.4 mol %. Strain BSD is proposed as a new species of the spore-forming sulfate-reducing genus Desulfotomaculum, D. geothermicum.