A new isolate of a lithoautotrophic nitrite-oxidizing bacterium was obtained from internal corrosion deposits from a steel pipeline of the Moscow heating system. The organism oxidized nitrite as the sole energy source and fixed carbon dioxide as the only carbon source. The cells were extremely pleomorphic: loosely wound spirals, slightly curved and even straight rods were detected, as well as coccoid cells. The highest rate of nitrite consumption (1.5 mM nitrite as substrate) was measured at 42 degrees C, with a temperature range of 28-44 degrees C. In enrichment cultures with Nocardioides sp. as an accompanying organism, optimal oxidation of 5.8 mM nitrite occurred at 45 degrees C, with a range of 28-48 degrees C. Neither pyruvate nor yeast extract stimulated nitrification. Organotrophic growth was not observed. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that the novel isolate represents a new sublineage of the genus Nitrospira. On the basis of physiological, chemotaxonomic and molecular characteristics, the name 'Candidatus Nitrospira bockiana' is proposed.