A bacteriocin-producing lactic acid bacterium, which was isolated from the Korean fermented-vegetable food kimchi, was subjected to a polyphasic taxonomic study using phenotypic characterization and phylogenetic and genetic methods. This organism (MT-1077T) has phenotypic properties that are consistent with the description characterizing the genus Lactobacillus. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rDNA sequences showed clearly that strain MT-1077T is a member of the genus Lactobacillus. The closest phylogenetic relatives are Lactobacillus alimentarius KCTC 3593T and Lactobacillus farciminis LMG 9200T, with levels of 16S rDNA similarity of 98.4 and 98.2%, respectively. Levels of 16S rDNA similarity between strain MT-1077T and other Lactobacillus species were less than 93.0%. Differences in some phenotypic characteristics and DNA-DNA relatedness data indicated that strain MT-1077T should be distinguished from L. alimentarius KCTC 3593T and L. farciminis LMG 9200T. On the basis of the data presented, it is proposed that strain MT-1077T should be placed in the genus Lactobacillus as a new species, Lactobacillus kimchii sp. nov. The type strain of the new species is strain MT-1077T (= KCTC 8903PT = JCM 10707T).


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