Phylogenetic analyses of 16S rRNA gene sequences by distance matrix and parsimony methods indicated that six strains of bacteria isolated from deep saturated Atlantic coastal plain sediments were closely related to the genus Five of the strains clustered with, but were distinct from, , whereas the sixth strain was most closely related to The five strains that clustered with , all of which could degrade aromatic compounds, were gram-negative, non-spore-forming, non-motile, rod-shaped organisms that produced small, yellow colonies on complex media. Their G+C contents ranged from 60.0 to 65.4 mol%, and the predominant isoprenoid quinone was ubiquinone Q-10. All of the strains were aerobic and catalase positive. Indole, urease, and arginine dihydrolase were not produced. Gelatin was not liquified, and glucose was not fermented. Sphingolipids were present in all strains; 20H14:0 was the major hydroxy fatty acid, and 18:1 was a major constituent of cellular lipids. Acid was produced oxidatively from pentoses, hexoses, and disaccharides, but not from polyalcohols and indole. All of these characteristics indicate that the five aromatic-degrading strains should be placed in the genus as currently defined. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences, DNA-DNA reassociation values, BOX-PCR genomic fingerprinting, differences in cellular lipid composition, and differences in physiological traits all indicated that the five strains represent three previously undescribed species. Therefore, we propose the following new species: (type strain, SMCC F199), (type strain, SMCC B0478), and (type strain, SMCC B0712).


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