Halophilic actinomycete strains, IQ-H1 (T = type strain) and IQ-H2, were isolated from extremely saline soil samples in Iraq. Besides morphological properties, strains IQ-H1 and IQ-H2 have a type IV cell wall, type PIII phospholipid, and menaquinone MK-9 (H, H), which are characteristic of spp. In addition, both strains required high concentrations of sodium chloride (10 to 15% [wt/vol] and 15 to 25% [wt/vol] NaCl, respectively), for optimal growth. However, strains IQ-H1 and IQ-H2 differed from other previously described species of the genus in cultural, morphological, and physiological characteristics. In addition, the size of the internal transcribed spacer in the rDNA (gene encoding rRNA) of IQ-H1 was different from those of known published species, while the size of the internal transcribed spacer of IQ-H2 was similar to that of JCM 3278. Thus, we propose strain IQ-H1 as a new species and name it sp. nov. Strain IQ-H1 has been deposited in the culture collection of the Institute of Microbiology, Academia Sinica, Beijing, the People's Republic of China (strain A.S. 4.1193).


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