Three bacterial strains isolated from biofilms of the Berlin drinking water system were characterized with respect to their morphological and physiological properties and their taxonomic position. Phenotypically, the bacteria investigated were motile, Gram-negative rods, oxidase-positive and catalase-negative, and contained polyalkanoates and polyphosphate as storage polymers. They displayed a microaerophilic growth behaviour and used oxygen and nitrate as electron acceptors, but not nitrite, chlorate, sulfale or ferric iron. The substrates metabolized included a broad range of organic acids but no carbohydrates at all. The three species can be distinguished from each other by their substrate utilization, ability to hydrolyse urea and casein, cellular protein patterns and growth on nutrient-rich media as well as their temperature, pH and NaCI tolerances. Phylogenetic analysis, based on 16S rRNA gene sequence comparison, revealed that the isolates are affiliated to the β1-subclass of The isolates constitute three new species with internal levels of DNA relatedness ranging from 44--9 to 51--3%. It is proposed that a new genus, gen. nov., should be created, including sp. nov., sp. nov. and sp. nov. The type species of the new genus is The type strain of is strain B4(= DSM 11900), the type strain of is strain B6(= DSM 11968and the type strain of is strain B8(= DSM 11901).


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