Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 182, Issue 2–3, pp 244–253 | Cite as

Alkaliflexus imshenetskii gen. nov. sp. nov., a new alkaliphilic gliding carbohydrate-fermenting bacterium with propionate formation from a soda lake

  • Tatyana N. Zhilina
  • Ramona Appel
  • Christina Probian
  • Enrique Llobet Brossa
  • Jens Harder
  • Friedrich WiddelEmail author
  • Georgii A. Zavarzin
Original Paper


Anaerobic saccharolytic bacteria thriving at high pH values were studied in a cellulose-degrading enrichment culture originating from the alkaline lake, Verkhneye Beloye (Central Asia). In situ hybridization of the enrichment culture with 16S rRNA-targeted probes revealed that abundant, long, thin, rod-shaped cells were related to Cytophaga. Bacteria of this type were isolated with cellobiose and five isolates were characterized. Isolates were thin, flexible, gliding rods. They formed a spherical cyst-like structure at one cell end during the late growth phase. The pH range for growth was 7.5–10.2, with an optimum around pH 8.5. Cultures produced a pinkish pigment tentatively identified as a carotenoid. Isolates did not degrade cellulose, indicating that they utilized soluble products formed by so far uncultured hydrolytic cellulose degraders. Besides cellobiose, the isolates utilized other carbohydrates, including xylose, maltose, xylan, starch, and pectin. The main organic fermentation products were propionate, acetate, and succinate. Oxygen, which was not used as electron acceptor, impaired growth. A representative isolate, strain Z-7010, with Marinilabilia salmonicolor as the closest relative, is described as a new genus and species, Alkaliflexus imshenetskii. This is the first cultivated alkaliphilic anaerobic member of the Cytophaga/Flavobacterium/Bacteroides phylum.


Soda lakes Alkaliphiles Anaerobes Polysaccharide degradation Gliding bacteria Cytophaga/Flavobacterium/Bacteroides phylum CFB bacteria Propionate fermentation Alkaliflexus imshenetskii 



We thank Nadezhda A. Kostrikina for electron microscopy, Georgii A. Osipov for fatty acid analyses, Anatoly M. Lysenko for DNA/DNA hybridization, Rudolf Amann for support of whole-cell hybridization, and Bernhard Schink for valuable information. This work was supported by grant 02-04-48286 of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, the MCB RAS Program, the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg (Delmenhorst, Germany), and the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tatyana N. Zhilina
    • 1
  • Ramona Appel
    • 2
  • Christina Probian
    • 2
  • Enrique Llobet Brossa
    • 2
  • Jens Harder
    • 2
  • Friedrich Widdel
    • 2
    Email author
  • Georgii A. Zavarzin
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Microbiology of the Russian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Max-Planck-Institut für Marine MikrobiologieBremenGermany

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