A New Thermophilic Species from Hot Spring Microbial Mats
Astrobiologists suggest a new classification for a species of thermophilic purple nonsulfur bacteria.
Astrobiologists studying thermophilic purple nonsulfur bacterium from hot springs in New Mexico have designated a new taxon for an organism previously designated as Rhodopseudomonas strain GI. This strain, isolated from a hot spring microbial mat community, grows best above 40 °C and to a maximum of 47 °C.
Strain GI has a budding morphology similar to species of the genus Blastochloris, but also has a number of features that make it distinct. Due to its unique properties, the authors suggest that strain GI represents a subclade within Blastochloris and should be classified as a new species of the genus Blastochloris.
The study, “Blastochloris tepida, sp. nov., a thermophilic species of the bacteriochlorophyll b-containing genus Blastochloris,” was published in Archives of Microbiology. The work was supported by the Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS).  NExSS is a NASA  research coordination network supported in part by the  NASA Astrobiology Program. This program element is shared between NASA’s Planetary Science Division (PSD) and the Astrophysics Division.