Thermophilic streptococci were isolated from biofilms on stainless steel samples exposed to pasteurized skimmed milk and from dairy products from a dairy manufacturing plant. The phenotypic characters of these isolates were distinct from those of other thermophilic streptococci of dairy origin ( and ). Genotypic data [restriction endonuclease analysis, ribotyping, random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) profiles, DNA-DNA hybridization and G+C contents] support the classification of these isolates as a new species. The sequence of the 16S rRNA was compared with that of 29 species of streptococci and shown to be significantly different. The sequence of the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer region also differed from published sequences of closely related species. A fluorescent hybridization probe prepared to a specific part of the 16S rRNA gene sequence was able to distinguish the unknown isolates from reference isolates of and . It is proposed that these thermophilic streptococcal isolates from a dairy environment be classified in the genus as a new species, (from waiu, the New Zealand Maori word for milk). The type strain is 3/1(= NZRCC 20100).


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