Spore-forming, Gram-positive sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) represent a group of SRB that dominates the deep subsurface as well as niches in which resistance to oxygen and dessication is an advantage. Desulfotomaculum reducens strain MI-1 is one of the few cultured representatives of that group with a complete genome sequence available. The metabolic versatility of this organism is reflected in the presence of genes encoding for the oxidation of various electron donors, including three- and four-carbon fatty acids and alcohols. Synteny in genes involved in sulfate reduction across all four sequenced Gram-positive SRB suggests a distinct sulfate-reduction mechanism for this group of bacteria. Based on the genomic information obtained for sulfate reduction in D. reducens, the transfer of electrons to the sulfite and APS reductases is proposed to take place via the quinone pool and heterodisulfide reductases respectively. In addition, both H(2) -evolving and H(2) -consuming cytoplasmic hydrogenases were identified in the genome, pointing to potential cytoplasmic H(2) cycling in the bacterium. The mechanism of metal reduction remains unknown.