The effect of pH on the growth and physiology of Bacillus thermoamylovorans, a new moderately thermophilic and non-spore-forming bacterium isolated from palm wine, was studied. Growth occurred from pH 5.4 to 8.5, with optimum growth at 7.0. During the exponential growth phase at optimum pH, glucose was consumed at the maximum rate (qs), 17.87 mmol g(sup-1) h(sup-1), and was mainly fermented into acetate, ethanol, and formate (76.5% of metabolites produced). In acidic or alkaline conditions, glucose specific consumption rates were considerably reduced (qs = 8.06 mmol g(sup-1) h(sup-1) at pH 5.6 and 2.85 mmol g(sup-1) h(sup-1) at pH 8.4), and a switch in glucose metabolism toward lactate production (62.6% of metabolites produced at pH 5.6 and 41.2% of those produced at pH 8.4) was observed. Moreover, optimum cellular yield (Y(infx/ATP)), 14.8 g mol(sup-1), and optimum energy yield (Y(infATP/s)), 2.65 mol mol(sup-1), were observed at neutrality. The results of this study were compared with published data about lactic acid bacteria; this comparison allowed us to complement our previous taxonomic study of B. thermoamylovorans and to identify additional phenotypic differences between B. thermoamylovorans and lactobacilli.