Nutrient requirements and growth physiology of the photoheterotrophic Acidobacterium, Chloracidobacterium thermophilum

Marcus Tank, Donald A. Bryant

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51 Scopus citations


A novel thermophilic, microaerophilic, anoxygenic, and chlorophototrophic member of the phylum Acidobacteria, Chloracidobacterium thermophilum strain BT, was isolated from a cyanobacterial enrichment culture derived from microbial mats associated with Octopus Spring, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. C. thermophilum is strictly dependent on light and oxygen and grows optimally as a photoheterotroph at irradiance values between 20 and 50 μmol photons m-2 s-1. C. thermophilum is unable to synthesize branched-chain amino acids (AAs), L-lysine, and vitamin B12, which are required for growth. Although the organism lacks genes for autotrophic carbon fixation, bicarbonate is also required. Mixtures of other AAs and 2-oxoglutarate stimulate growth. As suggested from genomic sequence data, C. thermophilum requires a reduced sulfur source such as thioglycolate, cysteine, methionine, or thiosulfate. The organism can be grown in a defined medium at 51°C (Topt; range 44-58°C) in the pH range 5.5-9.5 (pHopt = ~7.0). Using the defined growth medium and optimal conditions, it was possible to isolate new C. thermophilum strains directly from samples of hot spring mats in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. The new isolates differ from the type strain with respect to pigment composition, morphology in liquid culture, and temperature adaptation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number226
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Issue numberMAR
StatePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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