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Electron micrographs of H. butylicus. a: Single cell with pili; b: Duplex form; c: Cells connected by a string of cytoplasm; d: Cell with a tail; e: Ghost exhibiting an S layer; f: Duplex form exhibiting an S layer and vacuoles. From Zillig, W. et al. "Hyperthermus butylicus, a Hyperthermophilic Sulfur-Reducing Archaebacterium That Ferments Peptides." J. of Bacteriol. July, 1990. Vol. 172, No. 7. p. 3962.


Higher order taxa

Archaea; Crenarchaeota; Thermoprotei; Desulfurococcales; Pyrodictiaceae


Hyperthermus butylicus

Description and significance

Hypperthermus is a hyperthermophilic, sulfur reducing archaeon that grows between 95 and 106°C and at pH of 7.0.

Genome structure

The genome of Hyperthermus is currently being sequenced by the group from the University of Copenhagen. The G + C content of the DNA is around 55%.

Cell structure and metabolism


The strains of Hyperthermus butylicus were isolated from the sea floor of a hot, solfataric babitat on the coast of São Miguel Island in Azores, Portugal. With its ability to live at the temperature of 106°C, it is one of the most thermophilic archaea isolated so far.


Zillig, W., Holz, I., Janekovic, D., Klenk, H., Imsel, E., Trent, J., Wunderl, S., Fojaz, V. H., Coutinho, R., and Ferreira, T."Hyperthermus butylicus, a Hyperthermophilic Sulfur-Reducing Archaebacterium That Ferments Peptides." Journal of Bacteriology. July, 1990. Volume 172, Number 7. p. 3959-3965.