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Scientific classification

Golovacheva and Karavaiko 1991[1]
Type species
Sulfobacillus thermosulfidooxidans[1]

Sulfobacillus is a genus of bacteria containing six named species. Members of the genus are Gram-positive, acidophilic, spore-forming bacteria that are moderately thermophilic or thermotolerant. All species are facultative anaerobes capable of oxidizing sulfur-containing compounds; they differ in optimal growth temperature and metabolic capacity, particularly in their ability to grow on various organic carbon compounds.[2][3][4][5]


Sulfobacillus was first described in 1978, along with the type species, Sulfobacillus thermosulfidooxidans.[6][1] Five additional species have since been described, in at least one case discovered after samples believed to be S. thermosulfidooxidans showed unexpected characteristics.[7]

The genus is of uncertain taxonomic position. It was originally placed in the Clostridiales. It is likely related to the genus Thermaerobacter and may represent either a deep branch of the Firmicutes or a separate phylum.[3][1][8]


Sulfobacillus species are found globally in both natural and artificial acidic environments, such as hot springs, solfatara environments, hydrothermal vents, and in various forms of acid mine drainage. Compared to other bacterial species found in similar acidic environments, Sulfobacillus species are often present at relatively low abundance.[2]


The genomes of several Sulfobacillus species have been sequenced.[2][3][4] Differences between members include genome size and gene content related to sulfur oxidation pathways.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d "Genus Sulfobacillus". List of Prokaryotic Names with Standing in Nomenclature. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Justice, Nicholas B; Norman, Anders; Brown, Christopher T; Singh, Andrea; Thomas, Brian C; Banfield, Jillian F (2014). "Comparison of environmental and isolate Sulfobacillus genomes reveals diverse carbon, sulfur, nitrogen, and hydrogen metabolisms". BMC Genomics. 15 (1): 1107. doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-1107. PMC 4378227.
  3. ^ a b c Guo, Xue; Yin, Huaqun; Liang, Yili; Hu, Qi; Zhou, Xishu; Xiao, Yunhua; Ma, Liyuan; Zhang, Xian; Qiu, Guanzhou; Liu, Xueduan; Mormile, Melanie R. (18 June 2014). "Comparative Genome Analysis Reveals Metabolic Versatility and Environmental Adaptations of Sulfobacillus thermosulfidooxidans Strain ST". PLoS ONE. 9 (6): e99417. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099417. PMC 4062416.
  4. ^ a b Zhang, Xian; Liu, Xueduan; Liang, Yili; Guo, Xue; Xiao, Yunhua; Ma, Liyuan; Miao, Bo; Liu, Hongwei; Peng, Deliang; Huang, Wenkun; Zhang, Yuguang; Yin, Huaqun; Drake, Harold L. (1 April 2017). "Adaptive Evolution of Extreme Acidophile Sulfobacillus thermosulfidooxidans Potentially Driven by Horizontal Gene Transfer and Gene Loss". Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 83 (7). doi:10.1128/AEM.03098-16.
  5. ^ Dopson, Mark (2016). "Physiological and Phylogenetic Diversity of Acidophilic Bacteria". In Quatrini, Raquel (ed.). Acidophiles : life in extremely acidic environments. Caister Academic Press. pp. 79–91. ISBN 1910190349.
  6. ^ Golovacheva, RS; Karavaĭko, GI (1978). "[Sulfobacillus, a new genus of thermophilic sporulating bacteria]". Mikrobiologiia. 47 (5): 815–22. PMID 101742.
  7. ^ Norris, P. R.; Clark, D. A.; Owen, J. P.; Waterhouse, S. (1 April 1996). "Characteristics of Sulfobacillus acidophilus sp. nov. and other moderately thermophilic mineral-sulphide-oxidizing bacteria". Microbiology. 142 (4): 775–783. doi:10.1099/00221287-142-4-775.
  8. ^ Ludwig, Wolfgang; Schleifer, Karl-Heinz; Whitman, William B. "Revised road map to the phylum Firmicutes". In Vos, Paul; Garrity, George; Jones, Dorothy; Krieg, Noel R.; Ludwig, Wolfgang; Rainey, Fred A.; Schleifer, Karl-Heinz; Whitman, William B. (eds.). Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology Volume 3: The Firmicutes (2nd ed.). Springer. ISBN 978-0-387-95041-9.