Abyssivirga alkaniphila gen. nov., sp. nov., an alkane-degrading, anaerobic bacterium from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent system, and emended descriptions of Natranaerovirga pectinivora and Natranaerovirga hydrolytica.
A strictly anaerobic, mesophilic, syntrophic, alkane-degrading strain, L81T, was isolated from a biofilm sampled from a black smoker chimney at the Loki's Castle vent field. Cells were straight, rod-shaped, Gram-positive-staining and motile. Growth was observed at pH?6.2-9.5, 14-42?°C and 0.5-6?% (w/w) NaCl, with optima at pH?7.0-8.2, 37?°C and 3% (w/w) NaCl. Proteinaceous substrates, sugars, organic acids and hydrocarbons were utilized for growth. Thiosulfate was used as an external electron acceptor during growth on crude oil. Strain L81T was capable of syntrophic hydrocarbon degradation when co-cultured with a methanogenic archaeon, designated strain LG6, isolated from the same enrichment. Phylogenetic analysis based on the 16S rRNA gene sequence indicated that strain L81T is affiliated with the family Lachnospiraceae, and is most closely related to the type strains of Natranaerovirga pectinivora (92?% sequence similarity) and Natranaerovirga hydrolytica (90%). The major cellular fatty acids of strain L81T were C15?:?0, anteiso-C15?:?0 and C16?:?0, and the profile was distinct from those of the species of the genus Natranaerovirga. The polar lipids were phosphatidylglycerol, diphosphatidylglycerol, three unidentified phospholipids, four unidentified glycolipids and two unidentified phosphoglycolipids. The G+C content of genomic DNA was determined to be 31.7?mol%. Based on our phenotypic, phylogenetic and chemotaxonomic results, strain L81T is considered to represent a novel species of a new genus of the family Lachnospiraceae, for which we propose the name Abyssivirga alkaniphila gen. nov., sp. nov. The type strain of Abyssivirga alkaniphila is L81T (=DSM 29592T=JCM 30920T). We also provide emended descriptions of Natranaerovirga pectinivora and Natranaerovirga hydrolytica.