An extremely flexible, motile, rod-shaped bacterium (0.3 to 0.35 by 8 to 12 μm) was isolated from samples of pond mud. The organism can readily move through media containing 1% (wt/vol) agar. Only subsurface, spreading growth occurs on media containing less than 1.5% (wt/vol) agar. In agar media, cells displayed serpentine-like motility and rapidly coiled and uncoiled into a variety of knot forms. The organism possesses a gram-negative type of cell envelope with a peptidoglycan layer containing muramic acid, glucosamine, glutamic acid, diaminopimelic acid, and alanine in a ratio of 1.0/1.0/1.0/1.0/2.0, respectively. The cells possess bacterial flagella which occur both in bipolar tufts (4 to 10 flagella per tuft) and, to a lesser extent, singly over the surface of the cell. The organism only grew aerobically. Among the substrates tested, lactate was the only major energy and carbon source used. Carbohydrates, fatty acids, and amino acids did not support growth. Casein hydrolysate, peptone, and NHCl were used as nitrogen sources. Although both vitamin mixtures and yeast extract stimulated growth, no vitamins were required for growth. Cell extracts contain high levels of tricarboxylic acid cycle enzyme activities but only trace levels of glycolytic enzyme activities. The guanine-plus-cytosine content of the deoxyribonucleic acid of the organism is 65.8 mol% (strain PFR-1, buoyant density). For this organism, apparently previously undescribed, the name gen. nov., sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain of is PFR-1 (=ATCC 29606).


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