Thermoleophilum is a genus of eubacteria obligate for aerobiosis and thermophily. The genus is distinguished by the ability to grow solely on n-alkane substrates ranging in length from C13 to C20 (Merkel et al., 1978a, 1978b; Zarilla and Perry, 1984, 1986). Mud samples obtained from hot springs and from environmental niches generally considered nonthermal have both yielded isolates of the genus Thermoleophilum. Thermal elution profiles of DNA duplexes delineate two species within the genus, T. album and T. minutum (Zarilla and Perry, 1984, 1986). Sequencing of 16S rRNA from T. album strain NM affirms that these organisms should be placed in a separate “phylum” within the eubacteria (C. Woese, personal communication; see Fig. 1, Chapter 1). Organisms in this group are progeny of a deep divergence in the eubacterial line of descent. Isolation of strains from environments separated by considerable geographic distance indicates that Thermoleophilum strains may be of fairly common occurrence. Efforts to isolate a mesophilic counterpart of Thermoleophilum that would also be restricted to growth on n-alkane substrates have been unsuccessful.
KeywordsMethyl Viologen Respiratory Quinone Diaminopimelic Acid Mineral Basal Medium Rhodopseudomonas Sphaeroides
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