Thermococcus peptonophilus sp. nov., a fast-growing, extremely thermophilic archaebacterium isolated from deep-sea hydrothermal vents
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Two extremely thermophilic archaebacteria, strains OG-1 and SM-2, were isolated from newly discovered deep-sea hydrothermal vent areas in the western Pacific ocean. These strains were cocci, obligately anaerobic Archaea about 0.7–2 μm in diameter. Optimum growth conditions for OG-1 and SM-2 were at 85–90°C (range 60–100°C), pH 6 (range pH 4–8), a NaCl concentration of 3% (range 1–5%), and a nutrient concentration (tryptone plus yeast extract) of 0.2% (range 0.005–5%). Elemental sulfur stimulated the growth rate fourfold. Ammonium slightly stimulated growth. Both tryptone and yeast extract allowed growth as sole carbon sources; these isolates were not able to utilize or grow exclusively on sucrose, glucose, maltose, succinate, pyruvate, propionate, acetate, or free amino acids. OG-1 showed the fastest growth rate within the genus Thermococcus. Growth was inhibited by rifampicin. The DNA G+C content was 52 mol%. Sequencing of their 16S rDNA gene fragment indicated that these isolates belonged to the genus Thermococcus. OG-1 and SM-2 were different than the described Thermococcus species. We propose that OG-1 belongs to a new species: Thermococcus peptonophilus.
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