A blue-pigmented colony that had a metallic copper-colored sheen was isolated in 1973 from a standard spread plate count preparation of oxidation pond sediment. Over the next 11 years, an additional 12 strains of blue-pigmented bacteria were isolated from freshwater samples and compared to several reference strains of bacteria. Morphological and biochemical tests revealed that these 13 isolates were very similar to [] ATCC 19706 (T = type strain) and ATCC 14036. A numerical analysis (in which simple matching similarity coefficients were clustered by the unweighted pair group mathematical averaging method) of morphological and biochemical characteristics revealed 90.0% relatedness between the 13 isolates and [] ATCC 19706 and ATCC 14036 and 73.6% relatedness between the 13 isolates and a cluster containing ATCC 25416, ATCC 12473, and the species tested. A phylogenetic analysis, in which both 5S rRNA and 16S rRNA were used, also revealed that the 13 isolates were closely related to each other and to strains ATCC 19706 and ATCC 14036. In addition, both 5S rRNA and 16S rRNA analyses demonstrated that the isolates and strains ATCC 19706 and ATCC 14036 were members of the beta subdivision of the and were closely related to ATCC 12742 but sufficiently distinct to warrant placement in a new genus. Accordingly, we propose that the 13 isolates and strains ATCC 19706 and ATCC 14306 be placed in the genus gen. nov., which is named in honor of Otto Voges, who first isolated and described this blue-pigmented eubacterium in 1893. We also propose that [] be renamed comb. nov. and designated the type species of the genus; strain ATCC 19706 is the type strain of this species.


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