A Novel Photosynthetic Purple Bacterium Isolated from a Yellowstone Hot Spring

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Science  20 Jul 1984:
Vol. 225, Issue 4659, pp. 313-315
DOI: 10.1126/science.225.4659.313


A thermophilic photosynthetic purple bacterium was isolated from the waters of a hot spring in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. The organism differs from all known purple bacteria in that it grows optimally at a temperature of about 50° C. The isolate contains bacteriochlorophyll a and grows autotrophically, oxidizing sulfide to elemental sulfur which is then stored as globules inside the cell. These properties indicate that the phototroph is a member of the Chromatiaceae (purple sulfur bacteria).

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