Strain ELCN-1 (T = type strain), which was isolated from the hemolymph of the firefly beetle (Coleoptera:Lampyridae) in Maryland, was shown to be a sterol-requiring mollicute. Electron and dark-field microscopy showed that the organism consisted of small, nonhelical, nonmotile, pleomorphic coccoid cells. Individual cells were surrounded by a single cytoplasmic membrane, but no evidence of a cell wall was observed. The organism grew well in SP-4 broth medium containing fetal bovine serum, but failed to grow in formulations containing horse serum or bovine serum fraction supplements. Growth on solid media occurred only when agar cultures were incubated aerobically or in an atmosphere containing 5% carbon dioxide. Strain ELCN-1 catabolized glucose but did not hydrolyze arginine or urea. The optimum temperature for growth was 30°C, while multiplication occurred over a temperature range of 18 to 32°C. Growth was not observed at 37°C. The genome of strain ELCN-1 was determined to be about 585 megadaltons. The guanine-plus-cytosine content of the deoxyribonucleic acid was found to be 27.5 mol%. This organism was serologically unrelated to the type strains of previously described species and to 18 other unclassified sterol-requiring isolates cultivated from various animal, plant, or insect sources. This is the first documented insect-derived species in the genus Strain ELCN-1 (= ATCC 43707) is the type strain of sp. nov.


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