Two metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs), GKL-01 and GKL-02, related to the family Thiotrichaceae have been assembled from the metagenome of bacterial mat obtained from a sulfide-rich thermal spring in the North Caucasus. Based on average amino acid identity (AAI) values and genome-based phylogeny, MAG GKL-01 represented a new genus within the Thiotrichaceae family. The GC content of the GKL-01 DNA (44%) differed significantly from that of other known members of the genus Thiothrix (50.1–55.6%). We proposed to assign GKL-01 to a new species and genus ‘Candidatus Thiocaldithrix dubininis’ gen. nov., sp. nov. GKL-01. The phylogenetic analysis and estimated distances between MAG GKL-02 and the genomes of the previously described species of the genus Thiothrix allowed assigning GKL-02 to a new species with the proposed name ‘Candidatus Thiothrix putei’ sp. nov. GKL-02 within the genus Thiothrix. Genome data first revealed the presence of both Na+-ATPases and H+-ATPases in several Thiothrix species. According to genomic analysis, bacteria GKL-01 and GKL-02 are metabolically versatile facultative aerobes capable of growing either chemolithoautotrophically or chemolithoheterotrophically in the presence of hydrogen sulfide and/or thiosulfate or chemoorganoheterotrophically.
The metagenome of foulings from sulfidic spring “Serovodorodny” (Tatarstan, Russia), where members of the genus Thiothrix was observed, was sequenced. Representatives of the phyla Gammaproteobacteria, Cyanobacteria and Campilobacteriota dominated in the microbial community. The complete genome of Thiothrix sp. KT was assembled from the metagenome. It displayed 93.93–99.72% 16S rRNA gene sequence identity to other Thiothrix species. The average nucleotide identity (ANI) и digital DNA-DNA hybridization (dDDH) showed that the genome designated KT represents a new species within the genus Thiothrix, ‘Candidatus Thiothrix sulfatifontis’ sp. nov. KT. The taxonomic status has been determined of the strain Thiothrix sp. CT3, isolated about 30 years ago and not assigned to any of Thiothrix species due to high 16S rRNA gene sequence identity with related species (i.e., 98.8–99.4%). The complete genome sequence of strain CT3 was determined. The ANI between CT3 and other Thiothrix species was below 82%, and the dDDH values were less than 40%, indicating that strain CT3 belongs to a novel species, Thiothrix winogradskyi sp. nov. A genome analysis showed that both strains are chemo-organoheterotrophs, chemolithotrophs (in the presence of hydrogen sulfide and thiosulfate) and chemoautotrophs. For the first time, representatives of Thiothrix showed anaerobic growth in the presence of thiosulfate.