A taxonomic characterization was carried out on strains of the bacteria that cause the brown ring disease of clams. On the basis of their phenotypic and genotypic characteristics, these strains can be considered to constitute a new taxonomic unit, distinct from other species. The guanine-plus-cytosine content of the strains ranged between 42.9 and 45.5 mol% (43.2 mol% for the proposed type strain). DNA-DNA hybridization studies showed 100% intragroup relatedness, but levels of genetic relatedness to the reference strains of different species tested ranged between 15 and 58%. The strains have all the properties characteristic of the genus and can be clearly differentiated from other species of this genus by their growth at 4°C and their negative responses for growth at 30°C and in 6% NaCl, arginine dehydrolase, lysine decarboxylase, ornithine decarboxylase, and Voges-Proskauer reaction. The name is proposed for the new species; strain B1090 (CECT 4600) is the type strain.


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