Ritalahti KM, Justicia-Leon SD, Cusick KD, Ramos-Hernandez N, Rubin M, Dornbush J, Loffler FE
Free-living bacteria with spherical cells 0.5–2.5 µm in diameter were isolated from freshwater sediment. 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis placed the new isolates within the phylum Spirochaetes (‘spirochaetes’). The isolates never displayed a helical morphology or motility. Growth occurred in the presence of 100 mg ampicillin l−1 in complex and defined mineral salts medium amended with vitamins, yeast extract and monosaccharides, disaccharides or soluble starch as fermentable substrates. Two distinct isolates, designated BuddyT and GrapesT, exhibited doubling times of 21±2 and 15±1 h in glucose-amended medium and grew at 15–37 and 15–30 °C. Optimum growth was observed between 25 and 30 °C and pH 6.5–7.5, with no growth below pH 5 or above pH 10. Hexose and pentose fermentation yielded ethanol, acetate and formate as major end products. Growth was strictly fermentative and anaerobic, but the isolates tolerated brief oxygen exposure. Nitrate, sulfate, thiosulfate and carbon dioxide were not used as electron acceptors, but soluble Fe(III) was reduced to Fe(II) in glucose-amended medium. The DNA G+C base contents of isolates BuddyT and GrapesT were 45.5–46.4 and 47.0–49.2 mol%, respectively. Phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) profiles contained large proportions of C14 : 0 and C16 : 0 straight-chain saturated fatty acids; C16 : 1ω7c and C16 : 1ω9c dominated the mono-unsaturated PLFAs in isolate GrapesT, whereas isolate BuddyT also possessed C18 : 1ω5c, C18 : 1ω7c and C18 : 1ω9c fatty acids. Branched monoenoic acids accounted for up to 12.4 and 30 % of the total PLFA in isolates GrapesT and BuddyT, respectively. Based on their unique morphological features and the phylogenetic distance from their closest relatives, we propose the new genus, Sphaerochaeta gen. nov., to accommodate the new isolates within the novel species Sphaerochaeta globosa sp. nov. (type strain BuddyT = DSM 22777T = ATCC BAA-1886T) and Sphaerochaeta pleomorpha sp. nov. (type strain GrapesT = DSM 22778T = ATCC BAA-1885T). Sphaerochaeta globosa is the type species of the genus.
Ritalahti KM, Justicia-Leon SD, Cusick KD, Ramos-Hernandez N, Rubin M, Dornbush J, Loffler FE. 2012. Sphaerochaeta globosa gen. nov., sp nov and Sphaerochaeta pleomorpha sp nov., free-living, spherical spirochaetes. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 62:210-216.