Xanthomonas sp. strain DY44, capable of degrading H2S, was isolated from dimethyl disulfide-acclimated peat. This bacterium removed H2S either as a single gas or in the presence of the sulfur-containing compounds methanethiol, dimethyl sulfide, and dimethyl disulfide. The maximum specific H2S removal rate, obtained in the late stationary phase, was 3.92 mmol g of dry cells-1 h-1 (6.7 x 10(-16) mol cell-1 h-1) at pH 7 and 30 degrees C through a batch experiment in a basal mineral medium. Since Xanthomonas sp. strain DY44 exhibited no autotrophic growth with H2S, the H2S removal was judged not to be a consequence of chemolithotrophic activity. By using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, the metabolic product of H2S oxidation was determined to be polysulfide, which has properties very similar to those of elemental sulfur. Autoclaved cells (120 degrees C, 20 min) did not show H2S degradation, but cells killed by gamma-irradiation and cell extracts both oxidized H2S, suggesting the existence of a heat-labile intracellular enzymatic system for H2S oxidation. When Xanthomonas sp. strain DY44 was inoculated into fibrous peat, this strain degraded H2S without lag time, suggesting that it will be a good candidate for maintaining high H2S removability in the treatment of exhaust gases
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