Three scotochromogenic Mycobacterium xenopi-like organisms were isolated from stream waters in Finland. These strains grew at 36-50 degrees C but not at 30 degrees C. One of the three strains was fully compatible with the M. xenopi type strain according to GLC-MS, biochemical tests, and 16S rDNA and 16S-23S rDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequencing. Two of the strains closely resembled M. xenopi in lipid analyses and biochemical tests, but analysis by GLC-MS verified the presence of two new marker fatty acids (2,4,6,x-tetramethyl-eicosanoic acid and 2,4,6,x,x-pentamethyl-docosanoic acid). The 16S rDNA and ITS region sequences of these two strains differed from those of M. xenopi and other previously described mycobacterial sequences. Therefore, the strains are regarded as new species of slow-growing mycobacteria, for which the name Mycobacterium botniense sp. nov. is proposed. The chemical, physical and microbiological quality of the water reservoirs of M. xenopi and M. botniense are described. As far as is known, this is the first time that M. xenopi has been isolated from natural waters. The strains of M. botniense sp. nov. (E347T and E43) have been deposited in the ATCC as strains 700701T and 700702, respectively.


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