An evaluation of Thiomicrospira, Hydrogenovibrio and Thioalkalimicrobium: reclassification of four species of Thiomicrospira to each Thiomicrorhabdus gen. nov. and Hydrogenovibrio, and reclassification of all four species of Thioalkalimicrobium to Thiomicrospira

Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2017 May;67(5):1140-1151. doi: 10.1099/ijsem.0.001855.


Thiomicrospira(Tms) species are small sulfur-oxidizing chemolithoautotrophic members of the Gammaproteobacteria. Whilst the type species Tms. pelophila and closely related Tms. thyasirae exhibit canonical spiral morphology under sub-optimal growth conditions, most species are vibrios or rods. The 16S rRNA gene diversity is vast, with identities as low as 91.6 % for Tms. pelophila versus Tms. frisia, for example. Thiomicrospira was examined with closely related genera Hydrogenovibrio and Thioalkalimicrobium and, to rationalize organisms on the basis of the 16S rRNA gene phylogeny, physiology and morphology, we reclassify Tms. kuenenii, Tms. crunogena, Tms. thermophila and Tms. halophila to Hydrogenovibrio kuenenii comb. nov., H. crunogenus corrig. comb. nov., H. thermophilus corrig. comb. nov. and H. halophilus corrig. comb. nov. We reclassify Tms. frisia, Tms. arctica, Tms. psychrophila and Tms. chilensis to Thiomicrorhabdus (Tmr) gen. nov., as Tmr. frisia comb. nov., Tmr. arctica comb. nov., Tmr. psychrophila comb. nov. and Tmr. chilensis comb. nov. - the type species of Thiomicrorhabdus is Tmr. frisia. We demonstrate that Thioalkalimicrobium species fall within the genus Thiomicrospira sensu stricto, thus reclassifying them as Tms. aerophila corrig. comb. nov., Tms. microaerophila corrig. comb. nov., Tms. cyclica corrig. comb. nov. and Tms. sibirica corrig. comb. nov. We provide emended descriptions of the genera Thiomicrospira and Hydrogenovibrio and of Tms. thyasirae.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Typing Techniques
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Phylogeny*
  • Piscirickettsiaceae / classification*
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sulfur
  • Sulfur-Reducing Bacteria / classification


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Sulfur