Several strains of moderately halophilic and mesophilic bacteria were isolated at the head of an oil-producing well on an offshore platform in southern Vietnam. Cells were Gram-negative, non-spore-forming, rod-shaped and motile by means of a polar flagellum. Growth occurred at NaCI concentrations between 0 and 20%; the optimum was 5% NaCI. One strain, which was designated VT8, could degrade n-hexadecane, pristane and some crude oil components. It grew anaerobically in the presence of nitrate on succinate, citrate or acetate, but not on glucose. Several organic acids and amino acids were utilized as sole carbon and energy sources. The major components of its cellular fatty acids were C 3-OH, C ω9c, C and C ω9c. The DNA G+C content was 55·7 mol%. 16S rDNA sequence analysis indicated that strain VT8was closely related to sp. strain CAB (99·8% similarity) and (99·4% similarity). Its antibiotic resistance, isoprenoid quinones and fatty acids were similar to those of and However, the whole-cell protein pattern of VT8differed from that of other halophilic marine isolates, including DNA-DNA hybridization indicated that the level of relatedness to was 65% and that to was 75%. Further differences were apparent in Fourier-transformed IR spectra of cells and lipopolysaccharide composition. It is proposed that VT8should be the type strain of a new species and should be named may have been misclassified, as suggested previously, and may also belong to the genus


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