Two thermophilic, Gram-stain-positive, rod-shaped, non-spore-forming bacteria (strains KI3(T) and KI4(T)) were isolated from geothermally heated biofilms growing on a tumulus in the Kilauea Iki pit crater on the flank of Kilauea Volcano (Hawai'i, USA). Strain KI3(T) grew over an examined temperature range of 50-70 °C (no growth at 80 °C) and a pH range of 6.0-9.0, with optimum growth at 70 °C and pH 7.0. Strain KI4(T) grew at temperatures of 55-70 °C and a pH range of 5.8-8.0, with optimum growth at 65 °C and pH 6.7-7.1. The DNA G+C contents of strains KI3(T) and KI4(T) were 66.0 and 60.7 mol%, respectively. The major fatty acid for both strains was 12-methyl C(18 : 0). Polar lipids in strain KI3(T) were dominated by glycolipids and phosphatidylinositol, while phosphatidylinositol and phosphoglycolipids dominated in strain KI4(T). Strain KI3(T) oxidized carbon monoxide [6.7±0.8 nmol CO h(-1) (mg protein)(-1)], but strain KI4(T) did not. 16S rRNA gene sequence analyses determined that the strains belong to the class Thermomicrobia, and that strains KI3(T) and KI4(T) are related most closely to Thermomicrobium roseum DSM 5159(T) (96.5 and 91.1% similarity, respectively). 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity between strain KI3(T) and strain KI4(T) was 91.4%. Phenotypic features and phylogenetic analyses supported the affiliation of strain KI3(T) to the genus Thermomicrobium, while results of chemotaxonomic, physiological and biochemical assays differentiated strains KI3(T) and KI4(T) from Thermomicrobium roseum. Strain KI3(T) ( = DSM 27067(T) = ATCC BAA-2535(T)) is thus considered to be the type strain of a novel species, for which the name Thermomicrobium carboxidum sp. nov. is proposed. Additionally, the characterization and phylogenetic position of strain KI4(T) showed that it represents a novel species of a new genus, for which the name Thermorudis peleae gen. nov., sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain of Thermorudis peleae is KI4(T) ( = DSM 27169(T) = ATCC BAA-2536(T)).
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