A thermophilic sulfate-reducing vibrio isolated from thermal vent water in Yellowstone Lake, Wyoming, USA is described. The gram-negative, curved rod-shaped cells averaged 0.3 micrometer wide and 1.5 micrometers long. They were motile by means of a single polar flagellum. Growth was observed between 40 degrees and 70 degrees C with optimal growth at 65 degrees C. Cultures remained viable for one year at 27 degrees C although spore-formation was not observed. Sulfate, thiosulfate and sulfite were used as electron acceptors. Sulfur, fumarate and nitrate were not reduced. In the presence of sulfate, growth was observed only with lactate, pyruvate, hydrogen plus acetate, or formate plus acetate. Pyruvate was the only compound observed to support fermentative growth. Pyruvate and lactate were oxidized to acetate. Desulfofuscidin and c-type cytochromes were present. The G + C content was 29.5 mol%. The divergence in the 16 S ribosomal RNA sequences between the new isolate and Thermodesulfobacterium commune suggests that these two thermophilic sulfate-reducing bacteria represent different genera. These two bacteria depict a lineage that branches deeply within the Bacteria domain and which is clearly distinct from previously defined phylogenetic lines of sulfate-reducing bacteria. Strain YP87 is described as the type strain of the new genus and species Thermodesulfovibrio yellowstonii.