Nine different strains, CTCBS1to CTCBS9, were identified to be the causative agents of black spots on the surface of raw cured meat products. The formation of black spots under aerobic conditions is reproducible upon reinoculation of meat products with any of these strains, indicating that they are the causative agent. The strains were Gram-negative, catalase-positive and obligately aerobic rods. The G+C content of DNA of strain CTCBS1is 56·0±0·3 mol%. The content of non-polar main fatty acids were 16:0, 16:1, 18:1 and 19:0 cyc. Its phylogenetic position was elucidated by comparative sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA gene. Overall sequence similarity to other bacteria does not exceed 93·3%. Isolate CTCBS1clustered phylogenetically within the γ-subclass of the and is closely related to members of (90·5–91·9%) and to (93·3%). A genetic homogeneity of the nine strains was demonstrated by M13 random amplified polymorphic DNA-PCR, whereas differentiation from other genera, e.g. and , could easily be achieved by their chemotaxonomic characteristics. Taxonomic data revealed the status of a separate genus for which the name gen. nov., sp., nov. is proposed. Despite chemotaxonomic and physiological similarities, the new genus is at present not a member of the family because of the lack of two out of 15 descriptive 16S rRNA signature sequences. The first member of the new genus is The use of a specific, 16S rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide primer allowed the identification of all nine strains of in a PCR assay. Toxicological studies showed no pathogenic potential for strain CTCBS1(CECT 4437).


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