A group of pigmented, psychrophilic, strictly aerobic chemoheterotrophs isolated from sea-ice cores collected from coastal areas of eastern Antarctica was found to represent a novel 16S rRNA lineage within the gamma subclass of the , adjacent to the genus . The isolates are motile, Gram-negative, rod-shaped cells, which are psychrophilic and slightly halophilic, and possess an absolute requirement for seawater. Differences in phenotypic characteristics and DNA-DNA hybridization indicated the isolates formed two distinct taxa which have DNA G+C contents of 44–46 mol% and 40 mol%, respectively. Whole-cell fatty acid profiles of the isolates were however very similar and included 16:1ω7c, 18:1ω7c, 16:0 and 17:1ω8c as the major fatty acid components. Overall, sufficient differences exist to distinguish the sea-ice strains from currently recognized bacterial genera. It is proposed the sea-ice strains represent a new genus, , which contains two species, gen. nov., sp. nov. (ACAM 611) and gen. nov., sp. nov. (ACAM 615).


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