A new bacterial species belonging to the genus Pseudoalteromonas is described on the basis of phenotypic characterization, and sequence analysis of its 16S rRNA-coding and gyrase B (gyrB) genes. Ten strains, isolated from sea water of Yamato Island, Sea of Japan, were Gram-negative, yellow, motile, polarly flagellated, aerobic, rod-shaped eubacteria and had a G + C content of 42 mol%. Analysis of the 16S rDNA sequence revealed a clear affiliation between these strains and members of the gamma-Proteobacteria. High similarity values were found with members of the genus Pseudoalteromonas and this was supported by fatty acid profiles. The 16S rDNA sequence similarity between strain F12-50-A1T and Pseudoalteromonas piscicida was very high (99.1%). However, molecular characterizations employing small subunit 16S rDNA sequences were at the limits of resolution for the differentiation of species in this genus. As a result, DNA-DNA hybridization and sequence analyses of a more rapidly evolving gyrB gene were performed. Our assertion that this strain represents a distinct bacterial species within the genus Pseudoalteromonas was supported by both of these molecular analyses. Species-specific PCR probes were designed for the gyrB gene and used for the rapid screening of F12-50-A1T-like strains, thereby confirming the species. As these strains cleave complex protein compounds of the Mytilus edulis foot by secreting proteases, the name Pseudoalteromonas peptidolytica sp. nov. is proposed, with strain F12-50-A1T (= MBICC F1250A1T) as the type strain.


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