Occurrence of Sulfolobus acidocaldarius, an extremely thermophilic acidophilic bacterium, in New Zealand hot springs
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Several hot springs in the Rotorua-Taupo regions, North Island, New Zealand, were tested for the presence of extremely thermophilic acidophilic bacteria. In the majority of the springs, ranging in temperature from 43–96°C and in pH from 2.1–6.9, direct microscopic observations revealed the presence of both rod-shaped and spherical bacteria. Isolations were attempted at 70°C and pH 2.0 and 7.0, with either yeast extract for heterotrophic growth, or elemental sulfur as the sole source of energy for autotrophic growth. Eight of the samples produced grwoth at pH 2.0 with either yeast extract or sulfur, but none of the samples grew at pH 7.0. All the isolates obtained, resembled Sulfolobus acidocaldarius, a thermophilic acidophilic bacterium which has previously been reported from various regions in the Northern Hemisphere. Immunofluorescence examination of six of these isolates revealed varying degrees of cross reactions with two already characterized Sulfolobus isolates from the Yellowstone National Park, U.S.A. This paper is the first published record of Sulfolobus from the Southern Hemisphere.
Key wordsSulfolobus Thermophilic bacteria Hot spring Antigenic characterization Immunofluorescence
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