Fourteen soil-inhabiting, fragmenting actinomycetes with diaminobutyric acid in their cell walls and MK-12 as their major menaquinone were characterized and assigned to two new species; these organisms were further subdivided into four subspecies on the basis of numerical data, cell wall sugar compositions, and levels of DNA relatedness. The key characteristics which differentiated between the new species and subspecies of the genus and included the presence of tyvelose or fucose in the cell walls; some physiological properties, including catalase and oxidase activities; growth on media supplemented with inorganic nitrogen; reduction of nitrate; and hydrolysis of hippurate. The data which became available when we studied more strains of species and subspecies suggested that the genus description should be emended. We suggest that the following characteristics should be included in the genus description: Catalase and oxidase activities are variable; the majority of strains grow on inorganic media; as a rule, galactose and rhamnose are present in the cell walls; some strains contain glucose, fucose, tyvelose, mannose, ribose, and/or xylose as the major cell wall sugar(s); iso and anteiso types of fatty acids predominate (94%); and the G+C contents of the DNAs are 70 to 72 mol%, as determined by the thermal denaturation method. The type strains of the new species and subspecies are as follows: subsp. VKM Ac-1340, subsp. VKM Ac-1351, subsp. VKM Ac-1345, and subsp. VKM Ac-1352.


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