Thermophilic and amylolytic aerobic bacteria were isolated from soil through a selective enrichment procedure at 60 degrees C with starch as the carbon source. One of the isolates designated as HRO10 produced glucose aside from limit dextrin as the only hydrolysis product from starch and was characterized in detail. The starch-degrading enzymes produced by strain HRO10 were determined to be alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase. Whereas the alpha-amylase activity was detected exclusively in the culture supernatant, alpha-glucosidase occurred intracellular, extracellular, or on the surface of the bacteria depending on the growth phase. The optimum temperature and pH required for the growth of strain HRO10 were about 50 degrees C and pH 6.5 to 7.5. The strain used different carbohydrates as the carbon source, but the maximum production of alpha-amylase occurred when 1.0% (w/v) starch or dextrin was used. The use of organic vs. inorganic nitrogen favored the production of alpha-amylase in strain HRO10. The metal ions Li+, Mg2+, and Mn2+ stimulated the production of both enzymes. Identification of strain HRO10 by physiological and molecular methods including sequencing of the 16S rDNA showed that this strain belongs to the species Geobacillus thermodenitrificans. Biochemically, strain HRO10 differs from the type strain DSM 465 only in its ability to hydrolyze starch.