Hydrogen and thiosulfate limits for growth of a thermophilic, autotrophic Desulfurobacterium species from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent

Environ Microbiol Rep. 2016 Apr;8(2):196-200. doi: 10.1111/1758-2229.12368. Epub 2016 Jan 26.


Hydrothermal fluids (341°C and 19°C) were collected < 1 m apart from a black smoker chimney and a tubeworm mound on the Boardwalk edifice at the Endeavour Segment in the northeastern Pacific Ocean to study anaerobic microbial growth in hydrothermal mineral deposits. Geochemical modelling of mixed vent fluid and seawater suggests the mixture was anoxic above 55°C and that low H2 concentrations (79 μmol kg(-1) in end-member hydrothermal fluid) limit anaerobic hydrogenotrophic growth above this temperature. A thermophilic, hydrogenotrophic sulfur reducer, Desulfurobacterium strain HR11, was isolated from the 19°C fluid raising questions about its H2 -dependent growth kinetics. Strain HR11 grew at 40-77°C (Topt 72-75°C), pH 5-8.5 (pHopt 6-7) and 1-5% (wt vol(-1) ) NaCl (NaClopt 3-4%). The highest growth rates occurred when S2 O3 (2-) and S° were reduced to H2 S. Modest growth occurred by NO3 (-) reduction. Monod constants for its growth were Ks of 30 μM for H2 and Ks of 20 μM for S2 O3 (2-) with a μmax of 2.0 h(-1) . The minimum H2 and S2 O3 (2-) concentrations for growth were 3 μM and 5 μM respectively. Possible sources of S2 O3 (2-) and S° are from abiotic dissolved sulfide and pyrite oxidation by O2 .

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aerobiosis
  • Anaerobiosis
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Hydrogen / metabolism*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Hydrothermal Vents / microbiology*
  • Oceans and Seas
  • Pacific Ocean
  • Sodium Chloride / metabolism
  • Temperature
  • Thiosulfates / metabolism*


  • Thiosulfates
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Hydrogen