Sixty strains of thermoacidophilic bacteria have been isolated from soil and water samples obtained from various acidic environments in Japan. An initial comparative sequence analysis of the hypervariable regions of the 16S rDNA revealed that all strains could be assigned to the Alicyclobacillus acidocaldarius-Alicyclobacillus genomic species 1 group, which could be further subdivided into three clusters (Clusters I-III). On the basis of phenotypic characteristics, chemotaxonomic profiles, and phylogenetic data of six selected strains, five strains were identified as either A. acidocaldarius or Alicyclobacillus genomic species 1; however, one strain (MIH 332) could not be determined to belong to either of these species. 16S rDNA sequence homology values between strain MIH 332 and the reference strains of A. acidocaldarius (ATCC 27009T) and Alicyclobacillus genomic species 1 (DSM 11984) were 98.8% and 99.1%, respectively, which were higher than the corresponding similarity between the reference strains (98.4%). On the other hand, DNA-DNA hybridization levels between strain MIH 332 and the reference strains were 39% and 44%, respectively, which were lower than the value between the reference strains (59% or 65%). However, the phenotype of strain MIH 332 was also similar to those of the reference strains, and a typical phenotype could not be found for the strain, thus indicating that the strain may be a new genomic species of A. acidocaldarius, for which the name Alicyclobacillus genomic species 2 is tentatively proposed. The results of this study suggest that A. acidocaldarius and its related species are widely distributed in acidic environments in Japan, with slight regional variations in morphological and genotypic characteristics.
- 16S rDNA
- Alicyclobacillus genomic species 2
- HV region
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine