A novel extremely thermophilic bacterium was isolated from a shallow marine hydrothermal vent environment (depth, 22 m) in Tachibana Bay, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. The cells of this organism were gram-negative rods. Growth occurred at temperatures between 50 and 85 degrees C (optimum temperature, 80 degrees C; doubling time at optimum temperature, 90 min), at pH 5.5 and 9.0 (optimum pH, 7.0), and in the presence of 1 and 5% NaCl (optimum NaCl concentration, 3%). The new isolate was an aerobic heterotroph which utilized the following compounds as sole energy and carbon sources: yeast extract, peptone, starch, casein, Casamino Acids, a variety of sugars, some carboxylic acids, and amino acids. As determined by a sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA, the new isolate belongs to the genus Rhodothermus and represents a modern lineage of extreme thermophiles within the domain Bacteria. On the basis of the physiological and molecular properties of the new isolate, we describe a new species, Rhodothermus obamensis. The type strain of R. obamensis is strain OKD7 (= JCM 9785).