New species names, and , are proposed for two coryneform bacteria isolated from the surfaces of Gruyère and Beaufort cheeses. These two species are similar in their biochemical and chemotaxonomic characteristics but distinct from previously described bacteria. The most distinctive characteristics are the presence of -diaminopimelic acid-containing peptidoglycan with a D-GIU-D-ASP interpeptide bridge and the presence of erythritol teichoic acids that contain diaminoglucuronic acid (an uncommon substituent). The menaquinone pattern of these organisms is unique among coryneform bacteria. DNA-DNA hybridization experiments revealed that the level of hybridization between the two organisms is 15%, which indicates that they are distinct species. Despite the unique biochemical characteristics of these bacteria, a 16S rRNA sequence comparison revealed that they are unquestionably related to , and . DNA-DNA hybridization experiments performed with these three species, , and revealed that the levels of complementarity ranged from 11 to 38%, values that are similar to the values obtained for strains described previously. With the inclusion of and the genus becomes somewhat heterogeneous with respect to chemotaxonomic characteristics.


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