A gram-negative rod-shaped organism which exhibits unicellular and multicellular phases of growth is described. Unicellular-phase cells are motile and have mixed flagellation, with a single polar flagellum and 1 to 10 lateral flagella which are easily distinguishable from the polar flagellum by differences in thickness and wavelength. Multicellular conglomerates arise from single cells which lose motility, become optically refractile, and reproduce by multiplanar centripetal septation. Conglomerate formation is enhanced by the presence of sodium ions. Under suitable conditions conglomerates dissociate into single cells, which produce water-clear colonies in which there are initially only a few sluggishly motile unicellular-phase cells. A new genus, gen. nov., with the single species sp. nov. is proposed for these strains, which were isolated from fresh waters. Two subspecies, subsp. subsp. nov. (type strain, UQM 2041) and subsp. parooensis subsp. nov. (type strain, UQM 2042), are proposed.


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