Thermogladius shockii gen. nov., sp. nov., a hyperthermophilic crenarchaeote from Yellowstone National Park, USA
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A hyperthermophilic heterotrophic archaeon (strain WB1) was isolated from a thermal pool in the Washburn hot spring group of Yellowstone National Park, USA. WB1 is a coccus, 0.6–1.2 μm in diameter, with a tetragonal S-layer, vacuoles, and occasional stalk-like protrusions. Growth is optimal at 84°C (range 64–93°C), pH 5–6 (range 3.5–8.5), and <1 g/l NaCl (range 0–4.6 g/l NaCl). Tests of metabolic properties show the isolate to be a strict anaerobe that ferments complex organic substrates. Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequence places WB1 in a clade of previously uncultured Desulfurococcaceae and shows it to have ≤96% 16S rRNA sequence identity to Desulfurococcus mobilis, Staphylothermus marinus, Staphylothermus hellenicus, and Sulfophobococcus zilligii. The 16S rRNA gene contains a large insertion similar to homing endonuclease introns reported in Thermoproteus and Pyrobaculum species. Growth is unaffected by the presence of S0 or SO4 2−, thereby differentiating the isolate from its closest relatives. Based on phylogenetic and physiological differences, it is proposed that isolate WB1 represents the type strain of a novel genus and species within the Desulfurococcaceae, Thermogladius shockii gen. nov., sp. nov. (RIKEN = JCM-16579, ATCC = BAA-1607, Genbank 16S rRNA gene = EU183120).
KeywordsYellowstone national park Desulfurococcaceae Novel species Thermophile
This work represents the senior author’s undergraduate honors thesis at Washington University in St. Louis. Funding to MRO was provided by a Hoopes Grant and a Grant from the Environmental Studies Program at Washington University and a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Funding to JPA was from NSF grant 0525500 and a fellowship from the Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg in Delmenhorst, Germany. Thanks are due to D’Arcy Meyer-Dombard and Everett Shock for help on field expeditions to YNP and to Darcy Gill and Wandy Beatty of the Washington University Molecular Microbiology Imaging Facility for assistance with TEM images. Samples were collected under the authority of Yellowstone NP Research Permit #5434.
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