The taxonomic position of a yellow-pigmented group of bacteria, isolated from the phyllosphere of grasses was investigated. Results obtained from restriction analysis of amplified 16S rDNA with seven endonucleases (Col, 3A and Fl) showed identical restriction patterns for each enzyme of all isolates studied, which suggests that all strains belong to the same species. The grass isolates displayed the characteristics of the genus . They were Gram-negative, aerobic and rod-shaped with polar flagella. Isolates were catalase-positive and oxidase-negative, and unable to oxidize or ferment glucose with the production of acid. The isolates did not reduce nitrate to nitrite but were able to utilize a wide range of compounds individually as a sole carbon source, with preference being given to the utilization of monosaccharides. The disaccharides tested were not utilized as substrates. The DNA base compositions of the tested strains ranged from 60 to 61 mol% G+C. The major isoprenoid quinone of each was ubiquinone Q-9 and hydroxy fatty acids were represented by 3-hydroxydodecanoic acid and 2-hydroxydodecanoic acid. Comparison of 16S rDNA sequences showed that the bacteria were members of the genus , with similarity values between 91·5 and 97·7%. DNA-DNA hybridization studies with closely related neighbours revealed a low level of homology (< 27%), indicating that the isolates represent an individual species. On the basis of phenotypic and phylogenetic analyses a new species, sp. nov. (type strain DSM 11363), is proposed.


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