Two novel thermophilic and slightly acidophilic strains, Kam940Tand Kam1507b, which shared 99 % 16S rRNA gene sequence identity, were isolated from terrestrial hot springs of the Uzon caldera on the Kamchatka peninsula. Cells of both strains were non-motile, regular cocci. Growth was observed between 55 and 85 °C, with an optimum at 65–70 °C (doubling time, 6.1 h), and at pH 4.5–7.5, with optimum growth at pH 5.5–6.0. The isolates were strictly anaerobic organotrophs and grew on a narrow spectrum of energy-rich substrates, such as beef extract, gelatin, peptone, pyruvate, sucrose and yeast extract, with yields above 107cells ml−1. Sulfate, sulfite, thiosulfate and nitrate added as potential electron acceptors did not stimulate growth when tested with peptone. H2at 100 % in the gas phase inhibited growth on peptone. Glycerol dibiphytanyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) with zero to four cyclopentyl rings were present in the lipid fraction of isolate Kam940T. The G+C content of the genomic DNA of strain Kam940Twas 37 mol%. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that the isolates were archaea of the phylumCrenarchaeota, only distantly related to the cultured members of the classThermoprotei(no more than 89 % identity), and formed an independent lineage adjacent to the ordersDesulfurococcalesandAcidilobalesand clustering only with uncultured clones from hot springs of Yellowstone National Park and Iceland as the closest relatives. On the basis of their phylogenetic position and novel phenotypic features, isolates Kam940Tand Kam1507b are proposed to be assigned to a new genus and species,Fervidicoccus fontisgen. nov., sp. nov. The type strain ofFervidicoccus fontisis strain Kam940T(=DSM 19380T=VKM B-2539T). The phylogenetic data as well as phenotypic properties suggest that the novel crenarchaeotes form the basis of a new family,Fervidicoccaceaefam. nov., and order,Fervidicoccalesord. nov., within the classThermoprotei.
Accumulibacter” and total bacterial community dynamics were studied in two lab-scale enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) reactors by using a community fingerprint technique, automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA). We first evaluated the quantitative capability of ARISA compared to quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). ARISA and qPCR provided comparable relative quantification of the two dominant “
. Accumulibacter” clades (IA and IIA) detected in our reactors. The quantification of total “
. Accumulibacter” 16S rRNA genes relative to that from the total bacterial community was highly correlated, with ARISA systematically underestimating “
. Accumulibacter” abundance, probably due to the different normalization techniques applied. During 6 months of normal (undisturbed) operation, the distribution of the two clades within the total “
. Accumulibacter” population was quite stable in one reactor while comparatively dynamic in the other reactor. However, the variance in the clade distribution did not appear to affect reactor performance. Instead, good EBPR activity was positively associated with the abundance of total “
. Accumulibacter.” Therefore, we concluded that the different clades in the system provided functional redundancy. We disturbed the reactor operation by adding nitrate together with acetate feeding in the anaerobic phase to reach initial reactor concentrations of 10 mg/liter NO
-N for 35 days. The reactor performance deteriorated with a concomitant decrease in the total “
. Accumulibacter” population, suggesting that a population shift was the cause of performance upset after a long exposure to nitrate in the anaerobic phase.
Huanglongbing, or citrus greening, threatens the global citrus industry. The presumptive pathogens, ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ and ‘Ca. L. americanus’ can be transferred from citrus to more easily studied experimental hosts by using holoparasitic dodder plants. However, the interaction between ‘Candidatus Liberibacter’ spp. and the dodder has not been studied. We combined quantitative polymerase chain reaction with electron microscopy to show that only 65% of tendrils of Cuscuta indecora grown on ‘Ca. Liberibacter’ spp.-infected host plants had detectable levels of the pathogen. Among tendrils that were colonized by Liberibacter in at least one 2 cm segment, most were not colonized in all segments. Furthermore, the estimated population levels of the pathogen present in serial 2 cm segments of dodder tendrils varied widely and without any consistent pattern. Thus, there was generally not a concentration gradient of the pathogen from the source plant towards the recipient and populations of the pathogen were sometimes found in the distal segments of the dodder plant but not in the proximal or middle segments. Populations of the pathogens ranged from 2 × 102 to 3.0 × 108 cells per 2 cm segment. On a fresh weight basis, populations as high as 1.4 × 1010 cells per g of tissue were observed demonstrating that ‘Ca. Liberibacter’ spp. multiplies well in Cuscuta indecora. However, 55% of individual stem segments did not contain detectable levels of the pathogen, consistent with a pattern of nonuniform colonization similar to that observed in the much more anatomically complex citrus tree. Colonization of dodder by the pathogen is also nonuniform at the ultrastructural level, with adjacent phloem vessel elements being completely full of the pathogen or free of the pathogen. We also observed bacteria in the phloem vessels that belonged to two distinct size classes based on the diameters of cross sections of cells. In other sections from the same tendrils we observed single bacterial cells that were apparently in the process of differentiating between the large and round forms to the long and thin forms (or vice versa). The process controlling this morphological differentiation of the pathogen is not known. The highly reduced and simplified anatomy of the dodder plant as well as its rapid growth rate compared with citrus, and the ability of the plant to support multiplication of the pathogen to high levels, makes it an interesting host plant for further studies of host–pathogen interactions.