An acidophilic, disulfide-oxidizing, mesophilic, aerobic bacterium was isolated from wastewater sludge. The new organism is a gram-positive sporulated rod. It can use elemental sulfur and pyrite as sole energy sources and grows on organic substrates such as glutamate and glucose. It also grows on the following organic sulfur substrates: oxidized and reduced glutathione, cysteine, cystine, and dithio(bis)benzothiazole and clearly shows a preference for disulfide bond-containing substrates. The optimal pH of growth is between 1.5 and 2.5, depending on the substrate used, and the growth temperature range varies from 4 to 40 degrees C, with an optimal value at 35 degrees C. The G + C chromosomal DNA content was measured at 53 +/- 1 mol%. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S genes coding for rRNA sequences places the new isolate in the genus Sulfobacillus. In addition, unique phenotypic and physiologic characteristics and DNA homology values assign the isolate to a new species in the genus. Therefore, this new isolate has been named Sulfobacillus disulfidooxidans and has been assigned ATCC number 51911.