Reclassification of Thiobacillus aquaesulis (Wood & Kelly, 1995) as Annwoodia aquaesulis gen. nov., comb. nov., transfer of Thiobacillus (Beijerinck, 1904) from the Hydrogenophilales to the Nitrosomonadales, proposal of Hydrogenophilalia class. nov. within the 'Proteobacteria', and four new families within the orders Nitrosomonadales and Rhodocyclales

Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2017 May;67(5):1191-1205. doi: 10.1099/ijsem.0.001927.


The genus Thiobacillus comprises four species with validly published names, of which Thiobacillus aquaesulis DSM 4255T (=ATCC 43788T) is the only species that can grow heterotrophically or mixotrophically - the rest being obligate autotrophs - and has a significant metabolic difference in not producing tetrathionate during the oxidation of thiosulfate during autotrophic growth. On the basis of this and differential chemotaxonomic properties and a 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity of 93.4 % to the type species Thiobacillus thioparus DSM 505T, we propose that it is moved to a novel genus, Annwoodia gen. nov., for which the type species is Annwoodia aquaesulis gen. nov., comb. nov. We confirm that the position of the genus Thiobacillus in the Betaproteobacteria falls within the Nitrosomonadales rather than the Hydrogenophilales as previously proposed. Within the Nitrosomonadales we propose the circumscription of genera to form the Thiobacilliaceae fam. nov. and the Sterolibacteriaceae fam. nov. We propose the merging of the family Methylophilaceae into the Nitrosomonadales, and that the Sulfuricellaceae be merged into the Gallionellaceae, leaving the orders Methylophilales and Sulfuricellales defunct. In the Rhodocyclales we propose the Azonexaceae fam. nov. and the Zoogloeaceae fam. nov. We also reject the Hydrogenophilales from the Betaproteobacteria on the basis of a very low 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity with the class-proper as well as physiological properties, forming the Hydrogenophilalia class. nov. in the 'Proteobacteria'. We provide emended descriptions of Thiobacillus, Hydrogenophilales, Hydrogenophilaceae, Nitrosomonadales, Gallionellaceae, Rhodocyclaceae and the Betaproteobacteria.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Typing Techniques
  • Betaproteobacteria / classification*
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Phylogeny*
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Thiobacillus / classification*


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S