Thermophilic Bacilli growing with carbon monoxide
Four strains of obligately thermophilic Bacilli capable of growing with carbon monoxide as a sole carbon and energy source were isolated from settling ponds of a sugar factory. Most of them could be identified as strains of Bacillus schlegelii on the basis of cell wall composition, DNA homology menaquinone and DNA base content. Growth with CO was very fast (t d =3 h) and was optimal at 65°C. No growth occurred below 50°C. As with the mesophilic carboxydotrophs, hydrogen plus carbon dioxide could also serve as autotrophic substrates. Growth of the isolates with CO depended on the presence of molybdenum in the growth medium. This suggested CO oxidase in the newly isolated Bacilli being a molybdenum hydroxylase similar to the enzymes from the mesophilic carboxydotrophs. Some data characterizing the CO-oxidizing activity in extracts of the thermophilic isolates are also provided.