A novel anaerobic, heterotrophic thermophile was isolated from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent chimney at the Suiyo Seamount in the Izu-Bonin Arc, Japan. The cells were bent, flexible rods, with a single polar flagellum. Growth was observed between 40 and 70 degrees C (optimum temperature: 60-65 degrees C; doubling time, 40 min) and between pH 5.0 and 7.5(optimum pH 6.5). The isolate was a strictly anaerobic heterotroph capable of using complex organic compounds (yeast extract, tryptone, peptone, casein and Casamino acids), ethanol and various organic acids as energy and carbon sources. Hydrogen could serve as a supplementary energy source. Elemental sulfur (S(0)), nitrate or arsenate was required for growth as an electron acceptor. The G + C content of the genomic DNA was 38.6 mol%. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rDNA sequences indicated that isolate SSM1(T) is closely related to Deferribacter thermophilus BMA(T) (98.1%). However, the novel isolate could be clearly differentiated from D. thermophilus BMA(T) on the basis of its physiological and genetic properties. The name Deferribacter desulfuricans sp. nov. (type strain SSM1(T) = JCM 11476(T) = DSM 14783(T)) is proposed.