Cultivated anaerobic acidophilic/acidotolerant thermophiles from terrestrial and deep-sea hydrothermal habitats
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- Prokofeva, M.I., Kublanov, I.V., Nercessian, O. et al. Extremophiles (2005) 9: 437. doi:10.1007/s00792-005-0461-4
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Metabolic and phylogenetic diversity of cultivated anaerobic microorganisms from acidic continental hot springs and deep-sea hydrothermal vents was studied by molecular and microbiological methods. Anaerobic organotrophic enrichment cultures growing at pH 3.5–4.0 and 60 or 85°C with organic energy sources were obtained from samples of acidic hot springs of Kamchatka Peninsula (Pauzhetka, Moutnovski Volcano, Uzon Caldera) and Kunashir Island (South Kurils) as well as from the samples of chimneys of East Pacific Rise (13°N). The analyses of clone libraries obtained from terrestrial enrichment cultures growing at 60°C revealed the presence of archaea of genus Thermoplasma and bacteria of genus Thermoanaerobacter. Bacterial isolates from these enrichments were shown to belong to genera Thermoanaerobacter and Thermoanaerobacterium, being acidotolerant with the pH optimum for growth at 5.5–6.0 and the pH minimum at 3.0. At 85°C, domination of thermoacidophilic archaea of genus Acidilobus in terrestrial enrichments was found by both molecular and microbiological methods. Five isolates belonging to this genus possessed some phenotypic features that were new for this genus, such as flagellation or the ability to grow on monosaccharides or disaccharides. Analyses of clone libraries from the deep-sea thermoacidophilic enrichment cultures showed that the representatives of the genus Thermococcus were present at both 60 and 85°C. From the 60°C deep-sea enrichment, a strain belonging to Thermoanaerobacter siderophilus was isolated. It grew optimally at pH 6.0 with the minimum pH for growth at 3.0 and with salinity optimum at 0–2.5% NaCl and the maximum at 7%, thus differing significantly from the type strain. These data show that fermentative degradation of organic matter may occur at low pH and wide temperature range in both terrestrial and deep-sea habitats and can be performed by acidophilic or acidotolerant thermophilic prokaryotes.