Two strains of a psychrotolerant , isolated from vacuum-packed, temperature-abused beef, were characterized using a multiphasic approach. The strains were Gram-positive motile rods producing elliptical subterminal spores during early stationary growth phase. The strains were psychrotolerant. At pH 7.0, they grew between 3.8 and 40.5 °C; their optimum growth temperature was 30.0-38.5 C. At 30 °C, the pH range for growth was between 4.7 and 9.5; the optimum pH for growth was 6.4-7.2. The organisms were proteolytic and saccharolytic, lecithinase-positive and hydrolysed gelatin. The fermentation products formed in peptone/yeast extract/glucose/starch broth were acetate, ethanol, butyrate, isovalerate, butanol, isobutyrate, oxalacetate, lactate, hydrogen and carbon dioxide. The DNA G+C compositions of the two meat strains were 27.3 and 28.4 mol%. Phylogenetic analyses indicated that the strains belong to Cluster I of the genus (sensu Collins et al., 1994). The new strains differed from phylogenetically related clostridia in terms of cellular fatty acid composition, soluble protein profiles and phenotypic properties. On the basis of phenotypic and genotypic characterization data, the strains were assigned to a new species for which the name is proposed; strain SPL77A (= DSM 12271) is the type strain.


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