A hyperthermophilic methanogen, strain JH146(T), was isolated from 26 °C hydrothermal vent fluid emanating from a crack in basaltic rock at Marker 113 vent, Axial Seamount in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. It was identified as an obligate anaerobe that uses only H2 and CO2 for growth. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that the strain is more than 97% similar to other species of the genus Methanocaldococcus . Therefore, overall genome relatedness index analyses were performed to establish that strain JH146(T) represents a novel species. For each analysis, strain JH146(T) was most similar to Methanocaldococcus sp. FS406-22, which can fix N2 and also comes from Marker 113 vent. However, strain JH146(T) differs from strain FS406-22 in that it cannot fix N2. The average nucleotide identity score for strain JH146(T) was 87%, the genome-to-genome direct comparison score was 33-55% and the species identification score was 93%. For each analysis, strain JH146(T) was below the species delineation cut-off. Full-genome gene synteny analysis showed that strain JH146(T) and strain FS406-22 have 97% genome synteny, but strain JH146(T) was missing the operons necessary for N2 fixation and assimilatory nitrate reduction that are present in strain FS406-22. Based on its whole genome sequence, strain JH146(T) is suggested to represent a novel species of the genus Methanocaldococcus for which the name Methanocaldococcus bathoardescens is proposed. The type strain is JH146(T) ( = DSM 27223(T) = KACC 18232(T)).
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