Microbes and Environments
Online ISSN : 1347-4405
Print ISSN : 1342-6311
ISSN-L : 1342-6311

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Sulfide-dependent Photoautotrophy in the Filamentous Anoxygenic Phototrophic Bacterium, Chloroflexus aggregans
Nanako KannoShin HarutaSatoshi Hanada
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JOURNAL FREE ACCESS Advance online publication

Article ID: ME19008


Chloroflexus aggregans is a thermophilic filamentous anoxygenic phototrophic bacterium frequently found in microbial mats in natural hot springs. C. aggregans often thrives with cyanobacteria that engage in photosynthesis to provide it with an organic substrate; however, it sometimes appears as the dominant phototroph in microbial mats without cyanobacteria. This suggests that C. aggregans has the ability to grow photoautotrophically. However, photoautotrophic growth has not been observed in any cultured strains of C. aggregans. We herein attempted to isolate a photoautotrophic strain from C. aggregans-dominated microbial mats in Nakabusa hot spring in Japan. Using an inorganic medium, we succeeded in isolating a new strain that we designated “ACA-12”. A phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene and 16S-23S rRNA gene internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region sequences revealed that strain ACA-12 was closely related to known C. aggregans strains. Strain ACA-12 showed sulfide consumption along with autotrophic growth under anaerobic light conditions. The deposited elemental sulfur particles observed by microscopy indicated that sulfide oxidation occurred, similar to that in photoautotrophic strains in the related species, C. aurantiacus. Moreover, we found that other strains of C. aggregans, including the type strain, also exhibited a slight photoautotrophic growing ability, whereas strain ACA-12 showed the fastest growth rate. This is the first demonstration of photoautotrophic growth with sulfide in C. aggregans. The present results strongly indicate that C. aggregans is associated with inorganic carbon incorporation using sulfide as an electron donor in hot spring microbial mats.

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© 2019 Japanese Society of Microbial Ecology / Japanese Society of Soil Microbiology / Taiwan Society of Microbial Ecology / Japanese Society of Plant and Microbe Interactions