Psychromonas antarcticus gen. nov., sp. nov., a new aerotolerant anaerobic, halophilic psychrophile isolated from pond sediment of the McMurdo Ice Shelf, Antarctica
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A gram-negative, rod- to oval-shaped, aerotolerant anaerobic bacterium was isolated from an anaerobic enrichment inoculated with sediment taken from below the cyanobacterial mat of a high-salinity pond near Bratina Island on the McMurdo Ice Shelf, Antarctica. The organism was positive for terminal oxidase and catalase and was motile by means of a polar flagellum. Optimal growth of anaerobic cultures occurred at 12° C, at pH 6.5, and at an NaCl concentration of 3% (w/v). Of a variety of polysaccharides tested, only starch and glycogen supported growth. No growth was observed on cellulosic substrates and xylan, and the organism was unable to attack esculin. Monosaccharides and disaccharides, including the cyanobacterial cell-wall constituent N-acetyl glucosamine, were fermented. Per 100 mol of hexose, the following products (in mol) were formed: acetate, 60; formate, 130; ethanol, 56; lactate, 73; CO2, 15; and butyrate, 2. Propionate, ethanol, n-propanol, n-butanol and succinate were not detectable in the culture medium (< 1 mol per 100 mol of monomer). Hydrogen was not detected in the head space (detection limit < 10–5 atm). Growth yields in aerobic static liquid cultures were slightly higher than those in anaerobic culture, and fermentation favoured acetate at the expense of electron sink products. Growth was inhibited in aerobic shaking cultures, and the organism did not utilize nitrate or sulfate as electron acceptors. The G+C content of the DNA from the bacterium was 42.8 mol%. A phylogenetic analysis indicated that the organism is a member of the γ-subgroup of Proteobacteria, but that it is distinct from other members of this group based on the sequence of its 16S rRNA gene, mol% G+C, morphology, and physiological and biochemical characteristics. It is designated as a new genus and species; the type strain is star-1 (DSM 10704).
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