Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 185, Issue 3, pp 212–221 | Cite as

Isolation and characterization of Acidicaldus organivorus, gen. nov., sp. nov.: a novel sulfur-oxidizing, ferric iron-reducing thermo-acidophilic heterotrophic Proteobacterium

  • D. Barrie Johnson
  • Bethan Stallwood
  • Sakurako Kimura
  • Kevin B. Hallberg
Original Paper


Thermo-acidophilic prokaryotes isolated from geothermal sites in Yellowstone National Park were identified as novel α-Proteobacteria, distantly related (~93% 16S rRNA gene identity) to the mesophilic acidophile Acidisphaera rubrifaciens. One of these isolates (Y008) was shown to be more thermophilic than all previously characterized acidophilic proteobacteria, with a temperature optimum for growth between 50 and 55°C and a temperature maximum of 65°C. Growth was observed in media maintained at pH between 1.75 and 3.0 and was fastest at pH between 2.5 and 3.0. The G + C content of Y008 was 71.8±0.9 mol%. The acidophile was able to grow heterotrophically on a range of organic substrates, including various monosaccharides, alcohols and amino acids and phenol, though growth on single organic compounds required the provision of one or more growth factors. The isolate oxidized sulfur to sulfuric acid in media containing yeast extract, but was not capable of autotrophic growth with sulfur as energy source. Growth occurred under aerobic conditions and also in the absence of oxygen via anaerobic respiration using ferric iron as terminal electron acceptor. Based on these genotypic and phenotypic traits, it is proposed that Y008 represents the type species of Acidicaldus organivorus, gen. nov., sp. nov.


Acidophile Iron reduction Phenol Sulfur oxidation Thermophile 



Basal salts/trace elements


Ferrous iron/yeast extract liquid medium


Ferrous iron/yeast extract/glucose liquid medium

G + C

Guanine plus cytosine


Polymerase chain reaction


Reduced inorganic sulfur compounds


Tris/EDTA buffer


Sodium chloride/sodium citrate buffer



We thank Professor Akira Hiraishi of Toyohashi University of Technology, Japan, for the kind gift of As. rubrifaciens stain HS-AP3T.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Barrie Johnson
    • 1
  • Bethan Stallwood
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sakurako Kimura
    • 1
  • Kevin B. Hallberg
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of WalesBangorUK
  2. 2.Department of Natural and Social SciencesUniversity of GloucestershireCheltenhamUK

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