Microbial diversity and autotrophic activity in Kamchatka hot springs
Four thermophilic, sulfur-oxidizing, chemolithoautotrophic strains with >99 % 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity were isolated from terrestrial hot springs in the Geyser Valley and the Uzon Caldera, Kamchatka, Russia. One strain, designated UZ3-5T, was characterized fully. Cells of UZ3-5T were Gram-negative, motile, slightly oval rods (about 0.7 microm wide and 1.0 microm long) with multiple polar flagella. All four strains were obligately microaerophilic chemolithoautotrophs and could use elemental sulfur or thiosulfate as electron donors and oxygen (1-14 %, v/v) as the electron acceptor. Strain UZ3-5T grew at temperatures between 55 and 80 degrees C (optimally at 75 degrees C; 1.1 h doubling time), at pH 5.0-7.2 (optimally at pH 6.0-6.3) and at 0-0.9 % NaCl (optimally in the absence of NaCl). The G+C content of the genomic DNA of strain UZ3-5T was 35 mol%. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that strain UZ3-5T was a member of the genus Sulfurihydrogenibium, its closest relative in culture being Sulfurihydrogenibium azorense Az-Fu1T (98.3 % 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity). On the basis of its physiological and molecular characteristics, strain UZ3-5T represents a novel species of the genus Sulfurihydrogenibium, for which the name Sulfurihydrogenibium rodmanii sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is UZ3-5T (=OCM 900T =ATCC BAA-1536T =DSM 19533T).