Strains 61A(T = type strain) and 61B2, the first bacteriochlorophyll (BChl) a-containing obligate aerobes to be classified in the β-subclass of the , were isolated from river water. The strains were originally isolated as degraders of poly(hexamethylene carbonate) (PHC). The organisms can utilize PHC and some other biodegradable plastics. The strains grow only under aerobic conditions. Good production of BChl a and carotenoid pigments is achieved on PHC agar plates and an equivalent production is observed under oligotrophic conditions on agar medium. Spectrometric results suggest that BChl a is present in light-harvesting complex I and the photochemical reaction centre. The main carotenoids are spirilloxanthin and its precursors. Analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequence indicated that the phylogenetic positions of the two strains are similar to each other and that their closest relatives are the genera , Ideonella and Leptothrix with similarities of 96.3, 96.2 and 96.1%, respectively. The cells are motile, straight rods and contain poly-β- hydroxybutyrate granules. Ubiquinone-8 is the predominant quinone. Vitamins are not required for growth. The G+C content of genomic DNA is 66.2--66.3 mol%. Genetic and phenotypic features suggest that the strains represent a new genus in the β-subclass which is evenly distant from known genera. Consequently, the name gen. nov., sp. nov. is proposed for the strains; the type strain of Roseateles depolymerans is strain 61A(= DSM 11813).


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