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A new purple sulfur bacterium isolated from a littoral microbial mat, Thiorhodococcus drewsii sp. nov.

Zaar, Annette, Fuchs, Georg, Golecki, Jochen R., Overmann, Jörg
Archives of microbiology 2003 v.179 no.3 pp. 174-183
DNA, Thiorhodococcus minor, acetates, alcohols, bacteria, carbon dioxide, carotenoids, coasts, fatty acids, flagellum, genes, hydrogen, hydrogen sulfide, littoral zone, new species, nucleic acid hybridization, pH, pigments, ribosomal RNA, salt marshes, sequence homology, sodium chloride, sulfur, thiosulfates, tricarboxylic acid cycle, Massachusetts
A new strain of purple sulfur bacterium was isolated from a marine microbial mat sampled in Great Sippewissett Salt Marsh at the Atlantic coast (Woods Hole, Mass., USA). Single cells of strain AZ1 were coccus-shaped, highly motile by means of a single flagellum, and did not contain gas vesicles. Intracellular membranes were of the vesicular type. However, additional concentric membrane structures were present. The photosynthetic pigments were bacteriochlorophyll a and carotenoids of the normal spirilloxanthin series, with rhodopin as the dominant carotenoid. Hydrogen sulfide (up to 11 mM), sulfur, thiosulfate, and molecular hydrogen were used as electron donors during anaerobic phototrophic growth. During growth on sulfide, elemental sulfur globules were transiently stored inside the cells. Strain AZ1 is much more versatile than most other Chromatiaceae with respect to electron donor and organic substrates. In the presence of CO₂, it is capable of assimilating C₁–C₅ fatty acids, alcohols, and intermediates of the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Strain AZ1 could also grow photoorganotrophically with acetate as the sole photosynthetic electron donor. Chemotrophic growth in the dark under microoxic conditions was not detected. Optimum growth occurred at pH 6.5–6.7, 30–35 °C, ≥50 µmol quanta m⁻² s⁻¹, and 2.4–2.6% NaCl. The DNA base composition was 64.5 mol% G+C. Comparative sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA gene confirmed that the isolate is a member of the family Chromatiaceae. Sequence similarity to the most closely related species, Thiorhodococcus minor DSMZ 11518ᵀ, was 97.8%; however, the value for DNA-DNA hybridization between both strains was only 20%. Because of the low genetic similarity and since strain AZ1 physiologically differs considerably from all other members of the Chromatiaceae, including Trc. minor, the new isolate is described as a new species of the genus Thiorhodococcus, Thiorhodococcus drewsii sp. nov.