, Volume 151, Issue 6, pp 479-485

Thiobacillus prosperus sp. nov., represents a new group of halotolerant metal-mobilizing bacteria isolated from a marine geothermal field

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From the shallow geothermally heated seafloor at the beach of Porto di Levante (Vulcano, Italy) 8 strains of long, tiny rods were isolated, which represent the first marine metal-mobilizing bacteria. Cells are Gram negative. They grow in a temperature range between 23 and 41°C with an optimum around 37°C at a salt concentration of up to 6.0% NaCl. The isolates are obligately chemolithotrophic, acidophilic aerobes which use sulfidic ores, elemental sulfur or ferrous iron as energy sources and procedure sulfuric acid. They show an upper pH-limit of growth at around 4.5. The G+C content of their DNA is around 64 mol%. Based on the results of the DNA-DNA hybridization they represent a new group within the genus Thiobacillus. Isolate LM3 is described as the type strain of the new species Thiobacillus prosperus.