[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A novel thermophilic, chemolithoautotrophic bacterium, designated as NE1206(T), was isolated from a Juan de Fuca Ridge hydrothermal vent sample (tubes of the annelid polychaete Paralvinella sulfincola attached to small pieces of hydrothermal chimney). The cells were rod-shaped (1.2-3.5 x 0.4-0.7 microm), occurring as single motile rods or forming macroscopic aggregates visible as pinkish to brownish streamers. The new isolate was anaerobic. It grew between 50 and 70 degrees C (optimum 60-65 degrees C; doubling time approximately 1 h 15 min at 60 degrees C), between pH 5.0 and 7.5 (optimum pH around 6.0-6.5) and at sea salts concentrations between 20 and 40 g l(-1 )(optimum 30 g l(-1)). Cells grew chemolithoautotrophically in an H(2)/CO(2) atmosphere (80/20, v/v; 200 kPa). Molecular hydrogen was the sole electron donor used by the strain. Nitrate and elemental sulfur served as electron acceptors, yielding ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, respectively (nitrate reduction supported higher growth rates than sulfur reduction). The G+C content of the genomic DNA was 36.7+/-0.8 mol%. Phylogenetic analyses of the 16S rRNA gene located the strain within the genus Desulfurobacterium. However, the novel isolate possesses physiological and biochemical characteristics that differ from the previously described species of this genus. We propose that the isolate represents a novel species, Desulfurobacterium crinifex sp. nov. The type strain is NE1206(T) (DSM 15218(T), CIP 107649(T)). An amendment of the genus Desulfurobacterium description is proposed, based on the phenotypic characteristics of the novel species.