Endothiovibrio diazotrophicus gen. nov., sp. nov., a Novel Nitrogen-Fixing, Sulfur-Oxidizing Gammaproteobacterium Isolated from a Salt Marsh

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A novel non-phototrophic, marine, sulfur-oxidizing bacterium, strain S-1T, was isolated from a coastal salt marsh in Massachusetts, USA. Cells are Gram-stain-negative vibrios motile by means of a single polar unsheathed flagellum. S-1T is an obligate microaerophile with limited metabolic capacity. It grows chemolithoautotrophically utilizing sulfide and thiosulfate as electron donors, converting these compounds to sulfate, and the Calvin–Benson–Bassham cycle for carbon fixation. Cells of S-1T did not grow on any of a large number of organic carbon sources and there was no evidence for chemoorganoheterotrophic growth. Cells produced internal sulfur globules during growth on sulfide and thiosulfate. S-1T is strongly diazotrophic, as demonstrated by 15N2 fixation and acetylene reduction activity by cells when a fixed nitrogen source is absent from the growth medium. The marine nature of this organism is evident from its ability to grow in 10 to 100 % artificial seawater but not at lower concentrations and NaCl alone cannot substitute for sea salts. The major cellular fatty acids are C16 : 1ω7c, C16 : 0, and C18 : 1ω7c. Phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylglycerol are the major polar lipids. Q8 is the only respiratory quinone. S-1T genomic DNA has a G+C content of 67.6 mol%. Based on its 16S rRNA gene sequence, S-1T shows the closest phylogenetic relationship to non-phototrophic species within the family Thioalkalispiraceae of the class Gammaproteobacteria . The name Endothiovibrio diazotrophicus is proposed for this organism, with S-1T as the type strain (ATCC BAA-1439T=JCM 17961T).