Acidithiobacillus ferrianus sp. nov. an ancestral extremely acidophilic and facultatively anaerobic chemolithoautotroph

Paul R. Norris, Carmen Falagán, Ana Moya-Beltrán, Matías Castro, Raquel Quatrini, D. Barrie Johnson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Strain MG, isolated from an acidic pond sediment on the island of Milos (Greece), is proposed as a novel species of ferrous iron- and sulfur-oxidizing Acidithiobacillus. Currently, four of the eight validated species of this genus oxidize ferrous iron, and strain MG shares many key characteristics with these four, including the capacities for catalyzing the oxidative dissolution of pyrite and for anaerobic growth via ferric iron respiration. Strain MG also grows aerobically on hydrogen and anaerobically on hydrogen coupled to ferric iron reduction. While the 16S rRNA genes of the iron-oxidizing Acidi-thiobacillus species (and strain MG) are located in a distinct phylogenetic clade and are closely related (98–99% 16S rRNA gene identity), genomic relatedness indexes (ANI/dDDH) revealed strong genomic divergence between strain MG and all sequenced type strains of the taxon, and placed MG as the first cultured representative of an ancestral phylotype of iron oxidizing acidithiobacilli. Strain MG is proposed as a novel species, Acidithiobacillus ferrianus sp. nov. The type strain is MGT (= DSM 107098T = JCM 33084T). Similar strains have been found as isolates or indicated by cloned 16S rRNA genes from several mineral sulfide mine sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-337
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Early online date24 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • Acidithiobacillus ferrianus
  • Ferric iron reduction
  • Ferrous iron oxidation
  • Hydrogen oxidation
  • Sulfur oxidation
  • UKRI
  • NERC
  • NE/L014076/1


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