Identification of enzyme-producing thermophilic bacilli isolated from marine vents of Aeolian Islands (Italy)
Eighty-seven thermophilic, aerobic, spore-forming bacteria were isolated from shallow, marine, thermal vents of the Eolian Islands (Italy) and tested for a broad spectrum of phenotypic characteristics. A numerical taxonomy study was performed on these isolates and 8 thermophilic Bacillus and Geobacillus reference strains by 89 selected features. Results from cluster analysis showed the formation of nine clusters. Most of the isolates (83%) fell into several phenetically well distinguished clusters, loosely related to Geobacillus thermodenitrificans. The remaining isolates grouped together with different reference strains. Eighteen isolates, representative of the different clusters, were selected for subsequent genotypic characterisation, including partial 16S rDNA sequence analysis of 18 strains and almost complete 16S rDNA sequences of 9 strains. Subsequent DNA/DNA reassociation studies and determination of the base composition of DNA identified seven isolates as Geobacillus thermodenitrificans, two isolates as G. thermoleovorans and one isolate as Bacillus pallidus. Four isolates represented two novel species of Bacillus. The remaining four represented novel Geobacillus species, one of which has recently been described as Bacillus vulcani DSMZ 13174 T.