Stetter, Karl Otto and LAUERER, G. and Thomm, Michael and Neuner, A.
Isolation of Extremely Thermophilic Sulfate Reducers: Evidence for a Novel Branch of Archaebacteria.
Science (New York, N.Y.) 236, pp. 822-824.
Extremely thermophilic archaebacteria are known to be metabolizers of elemental sulfur and the methanogens. A novel group of extremely thermophilic archaebacteria is described, which consists of sulfate-respiring organisms that contain pure factor 420 and that have been isolated from marine hydrothermal systems in Italy. They possess a third type of archaebacterial RNA polymerase structure previously unknown, indicating an exceptional phylogenetic position. Most likely, this group represents a third major branch within the archaebacteria. The existence of sulfate reducers at extremely high temperatures could explain hydrogen sulfide formation in hot sulfate-containing environments, such as submarine hydrothermal systems and deep oil wells.