, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 131-136

A novel microbial interaction: obligate commensalism between a new gram-negative thermophile and a thermophilic Bacillus strain

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Abstract

Obligately commensal interaction between a new gram-negative thermophile and a thermophilic Bacillus strain was investigated. From compost samples, a mixed culture showing tyrosine phenol-lyase activity was enriched at 60°C. The mixed culture consisted of a thermophilic gram-negative strain, SC-1, and a gram-positive spore-forming strain, SK-1. In mixed cultures, strain SC-1 started to grow only when strain SK-1 entered the stationary phase. Although strain SC-1 showed tyrosine phenol lyase activity, we could not isolate a colony with any nutrient medium. For the isolation and cultivation of strain SC-1, we added culture supernatant and cell extract of the mixed culture to the basal medium. The supernatant and cell extract of the mixed culture contained heat-stable and heat-labile factors, respectively, that are essential to the growth of strain SC-1. During pure cultures of strain SK-1, the heat-stable growth factors were released during the growth phase and the heat-labile growth factors were produced intracellularly at the early stationary phase. Strain SC-1 was gram-negative and microaerophilic, and grows optimally at 60°C. Based on these results, we propose a novel commensal interaction between a new gram-negative thermophile, strain SC-1, and Bacillus sp. strain SK-1.

Received: November 18, 1999 / Accepted: December 2, 1999