Genetic relationships and diversity of 101 Thermus isolates from different geothermal regions in Iceland were investigated by using multilocus enzyme electrophoresis (MLEE) and small subunit ribosomal rRNA (SSU rRNA) sequence analysis. Ten polymorphic enzymes were used and seven distinct and genetically highly divergent lineages of Thermus were observed. Six of seven lineages could be assigned to species whose names have been validated. The most diverse lineage was Thermus scotoductus. In contrast to the other lineages, this lineage was divided into very distinct genetic sublineages that may represent subspecies with different habitat preferences. The least diverse lineage was Thermus brockianus. Phenotypic and physiological analysis was carried out on a subset of the isolates. No relationship was found between growth on specific single carbon source to the grouping obtained by the isoenzyme analysis. The response to various salts was distinguishing in a few cases. No relationship was found between temperature at the isolation site and the different lineages, but pH indicated a relation to specific lineages.
- Hot springs
- Multilocus enzyme electrophoresis
- Polyphasic taxonomic