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It is a group of extremely thermophilic microorganisms which are, phylogenetically distant from bacteria. Their important characteristics are:
(1) They are Gram-negative, non-spore-forming rod-shaped cells.
(2) They are thermophilic.
(3) They are anaerobic.
(4) They possess fermentative metabolism.
(5) They usually possess an outer sheath-like envelope called “toga” that balloons over the ends of the cell.
(6) They lack meso-diaminopimelic acid in their peptidoglycan.
(7) They are sensitive to lysozyme.
(8) They have unusually long chains of dicarboxylic fatty acids in their lipids.

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