A psychrotolerant hydrogenotrophic methanogen, strain Pt1, was isolated from a syntrophic propionate-oxidizing methanogenic consortium obtained from granulated biomass of a two-stage low-temperature (3-8 °C) anaerobic expanded granular sludge bed (EGSB) bioreactor, fed with a mixture of volatile fatty acids (VFAs) (acetate, propionate and butyrate). The strain was strictly anaerobic, and cells were curved rods, 0.4-0.5×7.5-25 µm, that sometimes formed wavy filaments from 25 to several hundred micrometres in length. Cells stained Gram-negative and were non-sporulating. They were gently motile by means of tufted flagella. The strain grew at 5-37 °C (optimum at 20-30 °C), at pH 6.0-10 (optimum 7.0-7.5) and with 0-0.3 M NaCl (optimum 0 M NaCl). Growth and methane production was found with H2/CO2 and very weak growth with formate. Acetate and yeast extract stimulated growth, but were not essential. The G+C content of the DNA of strain Pt1 was 40 mol%. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that strain Pt1 was a member of the genus Methanospirillum and showed 97.5 % sequence similarity to Methanospirillum hungatei JF1(T) and 94 % sequence similarity to Methanospirillum lacunae Ki8-1(T). DNA-DNA hybridization of strain Pt1 with Methanospirillum hungatei JF1(T) revealed 39 % relatedness. On the basis of its phenotypic characteristics and phylogenetic position, strain Pt1 is a representative of a novel species of the genus Methanospirillum, for which the name Methanospirillum stamsii sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is Pt1(T) ( = DSM 26304(T) = VKM B-2808(T)).
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