Strain VNs100(T), a novel mesophilic, anaerobic, rod-coccoid-shaped bacterium, having a sheath-like outer structure (toga), was isolated from a water sample collected in the area of an underground gas storage aquifer. It was non-motile with cells appearing singly (2-4 µm long × 1-2 µm wide), in pairs or as long chains and stained Gram-negative. Strain VNs100(T) was heterotrophic, able to use arabinose, cellobiose, fructose, galactose, glucose, lactose, lactate, mannose, maltose, raffinose, ribose, sucrose and xylose as energy sources only in the presence of elemental sulfur as terminal electron acceptor. Acetate, CO2 and sulfide were the end products of sugar metabolism. Hydrogen was not detected. Elemental sulfur, but not thiosulfate, sulfate or sulfite, were reduced to sulfide. Strain VNs100(T) grew at temperatures between 30 and 50 °C (optimum 45 °C), at pH values between 6.2 and 7.9 (optimum 7.3-7.5) and at NaCl concentrations between 0 and 15 g l(-1) (optimum 2 g l(-1)). The DNA G+C content was 47.5 mol%. The main cellular fatty acid was C16 : 0. Phylogenetic analysis of the small subunit rRNA gene sequence indicated that strain VNs100(T) had as its closest relatives 'Mesotoga sulfurireducens' (97.1 % similarity) and Mesotoga prima (similarity of 97.1 % and 97.7 % with each of its two genes, respectively) within the order Thermotogales. Hybridization between strain VNS100(T) and 'M. sulfurireducens' and between strain VNS100(T) and M. prima showed 12.9 % and 20.6 % relatedness, respectively. Based on phenotypic, phylogenetic and taxonomic characteristics, strain VNs100(T) is proposed as a representative of a novel species of the genus Mesotoga in the family Thermotogaceae, order Thermotogales. The name Mesotoga infera sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is VNs100(T) (= DSM 25546(T) = JCM 18154(T)).