A polyphasic taxonomic study was performed on two strains of an unknown Gram-positive, catalase-negative, coccus-shaped bacterium isolated from a dead seal and a harbour porpoise. Comparative 16S rRNA gene sequencing demonstrated that the unknown bacterium represents a new subline within the genus Vagococcus close to, but distinct from, Vagococcus fluvialis, Vagococcus lutrae and Vagococcus salmoninarum. The unknown bacterium was readily distinguished from the three currently recognized Vagococcus species by biochemical tests and electrophoretic analysis of whole-cell proteins. Based on phylogenetic and phenotypic evidence, it is proposed that the unknown bacterium be classified as a new species, Vagococcus fessus. The type strain of Vagococcus fessus is CCUG 41755T.


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