Reclassification of Desulfurococcus mobilis as a synonym of Desulfurococcus mucosus, Desulfurococcus fermentans and Desulfurococcus kamchatkensis as synonyms of Desulfurococcus amylolyticus, and emendation of the D. mucosus and D. amylolyticus species descriptions.
Representatives of the crenarchaeal genus Desulfurococcus are strictly anaerobic hyperthermophiles with an organotrophic type of metabolism. Since 1982, five Desulfurococcus species names have been validly published: Desulfurococcus mucosus, D. mobilis, D. amylolyticus, D. fermentans and D. kamchatkensis. Recently, the genomic sequences of all five species became available, promoting the refinement of their taxonomic status. Analysis of full-length high-quality 16S rRNA gene sequences shows that the sequences of D. mobilis and D. mucosus are 100?% identical and differ by 2.2?% from those of D. amylolyticus, D. fermentans and D. kamchatkensis. The latter three sequences differ from each other by 0.1-0.3?% (99.9?% similarity in the D amylolyticus-D. kamchatkensis pair and 99.7?% in the pairs involving D. fermentans). In silico prediction of DNA-DNA hybridization (DDH) values by comparison of genomes using ggdc 2.0 blast+ at http://ggdc.dsmz.de/ produced results that correlated with the 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity values. In the D. mucosus-D. mobilis and D. amylolyticus-D. kamchatkensis pairs, the predicted DDH values were 99 and 92?%, respectively, much higher than the recommended 70?% species-delimiting DDH value. Between members of different pairs, these values were no higher than 20?%. For D. fermentans, its predicted DDH values were around 70?% with D. amylolyticus and D. kamchatkensis and no higher than 20?% with D. mobilis and D. mucosus. These results indicated that D. mobilis should be reclassified as a synonym of D. mucosus, whereas D. kamchatkensis and D. fermentans should be reclassified as synonyms of D. amylolyticus.