Strains of a new type of rapidly growing, scotochromogenic mycobacterium have been isolated repeatedly from sphagnum vegetation of moors in south Sweden and the Atlantic coastal area of Norway. These strains split urea and succinamide, hydrolyze Tween 80, produce acid from glucose, fructose, mannitol, rhamnose, sorbitol, and trehalose, and grow on a medium with fumarate, succinate, citrate, malonate, oxalate, propanol, or hippurate as the single carbon source. Furthermore, they possess acid phosphatase and putrescine oxidase activities, degrade salicylate, and metabolize iron. Additional properties of these strains are presented. The internal similarity of the strains, as determined by numerical taxonomy methods, as 94.97 ± 3.42%. A comparison with 21 species (clusters) of rapidly growing mycobacteria is also presented. The production of mycolic acid by these strains and their micromorphology confirm that they belong to the genus . The strains have unique lipid and immunodiffusion patterns and form special sensitins. These strains are considered as belonging to a new species of nonpathogenic, rapidly growing mycobacteria for which we propose the name . Strain Ko 2 is the type strain of ; a culture of this strain has been deposited in the American Type Culture Collection under the number 33013.


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