Pectinophiles are bacteria that utilize pectin and only a few related compounds as substrates. Obligately anaerobic pectinophiles have been isolated from the intestinal tracts and gingivae of humans and from the rumina of cattle. We isolated three strains of pectinophilic bacteria from colonic contents of pigs but were unable to isolate pectinophiles from the rumen contents of four sheep, even when the animals were fed a high-pectin diet. The pectinophiles isolated from pigs were strictly anaerobic, motile, gram-positive rods (0.36 to 0.56 by 2.4 to 3.1 μm). Pectin, polygalacturonic acid, and gluconate were the only substrates that supported rapid growth. All three strains grew slowly on either lactose or cellobiose and fermented fructose after a lag of several days. Pectin was degraded by means of an extracellular pectin methylesterase and a Ca-dependent exopectate lyase. A comparison of the 16S rRNA sequences of these isolates with the 16S rRNA sequences of other gram-positive bacteria revealed a specific relationship with (level of similarity, 94%). The Gram reaction, formation of spore-like structures, and the utilization of lactose and cellobiose differentiated the pig isolates from previously described pectinophiles. The pig isolates represent a previously undescribed species of the genus , for which we propose the name .


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