Complete genome of Leptospirillum ferriphilum ML-04 provides insight into its physiology and environmental adaptation

J Microbiol. 2011 Dec;49(6):890-901. doi: 10.1007/s12275-011-1099-9. Epub 2011 Dec 28.


Leptospirillum ferriphilum has been identified as the dominant, moderately thermophilic, bioleaching microorganism in bioleaching processes. It is an acidic and chemolithoautrophic bacterium that gains electrons from ferrous iron oxidation for energy production and cell growth. Genetic information about this microorganism has been limited until now, which has hindered its further exploration. In this study, the complete genome of L. ferripilum ML-04 is sequenced and annotated. The bacterium has a single circular chromosome of 2,406,157 bp containing 2,471 coding sequences (CDS), 2 rRNA operons, 48 tRNA genes, a large number of mobile genetic elements and 2 genomic islands. In silico analysis shows L. ferriphilum ML-04 fixes carbon through a reductive citric acid (rTCA) cycle, and obtains nitrogen through ammonium assimilation. The genes related to "cell envelope biogenesis, outer membrane" (6.9%) and "DNA replication, recombination and repair" (5.6%) are abundant, and a large number of genes related to heavy metal detoxification, oxidative and acidic stress defense, and signal transduction pathways were detected. The genomic plasticity, plentiful cell envelope components, inorganic element metabolic abilities and stress response mechanisms found the base for this organism's survival in the bioleaching niche.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacteria / genetics*
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena
  • Base Sequence
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • Hot Springs / microbiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nitrogen / metabolism
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Phylogeny


  • Nitrogen

Associated data

  • GENBANK/CP002919