Twenty-one exopolysaccharide-producing strains were isolated from the 5--20 μm fraction of a vertisol in the south-east of the island of Martinique in the French West Indies. Although these strains were phenotypically identifie as or as using BIOLOG microplates they did not cluster genotypically by amplified rDNA restriction analysis (ARDRA) with any described species. A phylogenetic analysis revealed that the (16S rDNA) sequences of three representative strains clustered in a single branch within the genus and distantly fror all of the previously described species of for which sequences were available. DNA-DNA hybridization data as well as phenotypic analyses indicated that the 21 isolates represented a single and new species for which the name sp. nov. is proposed (type strain MWAP64LMG 18531).


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