Previously isolated dissimilatory perchlorate-reducing bacteria (DPRB) have been primarily affiliated with the Betaproteobacteria. Enrichments from the cathodic chamber of a bioelectrical reactor (BER) inoculated from creek water in Berkeley, CA, yielded a novel organism most closely related to a previously described strain, WD (99% 16S rRNA gene identity). Strain VDY(T) has 96% 16S rRNA gene identity to both Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense and Magnetospirillum magnetotacticum, and along with strain WD, distinguishes a clade of perchlorate-reducing Magnetospirillum species in the Alphaproteobacteria. In spite of the phylogenetic location of VDY(T), attempted PCR for the key magnetosome formation genes mamI and mamL was negative. Strain VDY(T) was motile, non-spore forming, and, in addition to perchlorate, could use oxygen, chlorate, nitrate, nitrite, and nitrous oxide as alternative electron acceptors with acetate as the electron donor. Transient chlorate accumulation occurred during respiration of perchlorate. The organism made use of fermentation end products, such as acetate and ethanol, as carbon sources and electron donors for heterotrophic growth, and in addition, strain VDY(T) could grow chemolithotrophically with hydrogen serving as the electron donor. VDY(T) contains a copy of the RuBisCo cbbM gene, which was expressed under autotrophic but not heterotrophic conditions. DNA-DNA hybridization with strain WD confirmed VDY(T) as a separate species (46.2% identity), and the name Magnetospirillum bellicus sp. nov. (DSM 21662, ATCC BAA-1730) is proposed.
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