Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 142, Issue 2, pp 164–167

Heliothrix oregonensis, gen. nov., sp. nov., a phototrophic filamentous gliding bacterium containing bacteriochlorophyll a

  • B. K. Pierson
  • S. J. Giovannoni
  • D. A. Stahl
  • R. W. Castenholz
Original Papers

DOI: 10.1007/BF00447061

Cite this article as:
Pierson, B.K., Giovannoni, S.J., Stahl, D.A. et al. Arch. Microbiol. (1985) 142: 164. doi:10.1007/BF00447061


An unusual filamentous, gliding bacterium was found in a few hot springs in Oregon where it formed a nearly unispecific top layer of microbial mats. It contained a bacteriochlorophyll a-like pigment and an abundance of carotenoids. There were no chlorosomes or additional chlorophylls. The organism was aerotolerant and appeared to be photoheterotrophic. It was successfully co-cultured with an aerobic chemoheterotroph in a medium containing glucose and casamino acids. Although it has many characteristics in common with the genus Chloroflexus, the lack of chlorosomes and bacteriochlorophyll c and the aerobic nature of this organism indicate that it should be placed in a new genus. This conclusion is supported by 5S rRNA nucleotide sequence data.

Key words

Heliothrix Bacteriochlorophyll a Gliding motility Filamentous Phototrophic Thermophilic Hot springs 5S rRNA Nucleotide sequence homologies Chloroflexus 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. K. Pierson
    • 1
  • S. J. Giovannoni
    • 2
  • D. A. Stahl
    • 3
  • R. W. Castenholz
    • 4
  1. 1.Biology DepartmentUniversity of Puget SoundTacomaUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Veterinary PathobiologyUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA
  4. 4.Biology DepartmentUniversity of OregonEugeneUSA