A novel halophilic fermentative bacterium has been isolated from the black sediment below a gypsum crust and a microbial mat in hypersaline ponds of Mediterranean salterns. Morphologically, physiologically and genetically this organism belongs to the genus strain SG 3903(T = type strain) is composed of non-sporulating long flexible rods with peritrichous flagella, able to grow in the salinity range of 5--30% NaCI, with an optimum at 14--15%. The strain grows by fermenting carbohydrates or by using the Stickland reaction with either serine or H as electron donors and glycine-betaine as acceptor, which is reduced to trimethylamine. The two species described so far in the genus are not capable of Stickland reaction with glycine-betaine + serine; however, can use glycine-betaine with H as electron donor. Strain SG 3903thus represents the first described strain in the genus capable of the Stickland reaction with two amino acids. Although strain SG 3903showed 67% DNA-DNA relatedness to , it is physiologically sufficiently different from the two described species to be considered as a new species which has been named sp. nov.


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