Oxidation of nitrite to nitrate is an important process in the global nitrogen cycle. Recent molecular biology-based studies have revealed that the widespread nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) belonging to the genus ‘Candidatus Nitrotoga’ may be highly important for the environment. However, the insufficient availability of pure Nitrotoga cultures has limited our understanding of their physiological and genomic characteristics. Here, we isolated the ‘Ca. Nitrotoga’ sp. strain AM1P, from a previously enriched Nitrotoga culture, using an improved isolation strategy. Although ‘Ca. Nitrotoga’ have been recognized as cold-adapted NOB, the strain AM1P had a slightly higher optimum growth temperature at 23°C. Strain AM1P showed a pH optimum of 8.3 and was not inhibited even at high nitrite concentrations (20 mM). We obtained the complete genome of the strain and compared the genome profile to five previously sequenced ‘Ca. Nitrotoga’ strains. Comparative genomics suggested that lactate dehydrogenase may be only encoded in the strain AM1P and closely related genomes. While the growth yield of AM1P did not change, we observed faster growth in the presence of lactate in comparison to purely chemolithoautotrophic growth. The characterization of the new strain AM1P sheds light on the physiological adaptation of this environmentally important, but understudied genus ‘Ca. Nitrotoga’.
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