Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 181, Issue 4, pp 269–277 | Cite as

Thermobaculum terrenum gen. nov., sp. nov.: a non-phototrophic gram-positive thermophile representing an environmental clone group related to the Chloroflexi (green non-sulfur bacteria) and Thermomicrobia

  • Lina M. Botero
  • Kathy B. Brown
  • Sue Brumefield
  • Mark Burr
  • Richard W. Castenholz
  • Mark Young
  • Timothy R. McDermott
Original Paper


A novel bacterium was cultivated from an extreme thermal soil in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA, that at the time of sampling had a pH of 3.9 and a temperature range of 65–92 °C. This organism was found to be an obligate aerobic, non-spore-forming rod, and formed pink-colored colonies. Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequence placed this organism in a clade composed entirely of environmental clones most closely related to the phyla Chloroflexi and Thermomicrobia. This bacterium stained gram-positive, contained a novel fatty-acid profile, had cell wall muramic acid content similar to that of Bacillus subtilis (significantly greater than Escherichia coli), and failed to display a lipopolysaccharide profile in SDS-polyacrylamide gels that would be indicative of a gram-negative cell wall structure. Ultrastructure examinations with transmission electron microscopy showed a thick cell wall (approximately 34 nm wide) external to a cytoplasmic membrane. The organism was not motile under the culture conditions used, and electron microscopic examination showed no evidence of flagella. Genomic G+C content was 56.4 mol%, and growth was optimal at 67 °C and at a pH of 7.0. This organism was able to grow heterotrophically on various carbon compounds, would use only oxygen as an electron acceptor, and its growth was not affected by light. A new species of a novel genus is proposed, with YNP1T (T=type strain) being Thermobaculum terrenum gen. nov., sp. nov. (16S rDNA gene GenBank accession AF391972). This bacterium has been deposited in the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC BAA-798) and the University of Oregon Culture Collection of Microorganisms from Extreme Environments (CCMEE 7001).


Thermophile Green non-sulfur Chloroflexi Gram-positive Yellowstone National Park Thermal soil 



The authors express gratitude for the enthusiastic help from Anne Deutch, Christie Hendrix, and John Varley, Yellowstone Center for Resources, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. The authors thank Bill Franck for help in temperature experiments, and in particular gratefully acknowledge Dr. Hans G. Trüper for assistance with nomenclature and Dr. Marci McClure for helpful discussion regarding in-depth sequence analysis. Funding to support this work was from the National Science Foundation (DEB-9809360) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NAG5-8807).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lina M. Botero
    • 1
  • Kathy B. Brown
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sue Brumefield
    • 1
  • Mark Burr
    • 1
  • Richard W. Castenholz
    • 3
    • 4
  • Mark Young
    • 1
  • Timothy R. McDermott
    • 1
  1. 1.Thermal Biology InstituteMontana State UniversityBozemanUSA
  2. 2.Sierra High SchoolMantecaUSA
  3. 3.Center for Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of OregonEugeneUSA
  4. 4.NASA Aimes Research CenterNASA Astrobiology InstituteMoffett FieldUSA

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