Thiobacillus novellus is a facultatively chemolithoautotrophic and methylotrophic, Gram-negative, rod-shaped sulfur bacterium, shown by 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis to be a member of the alpha-2 subclass of the Proteobacteria. As such, it must be excluded from the genus Thiobacillus, whose species are members of the beta-Proteobacteria. It closest phylogenetic neighbour appears to be Ancylobacter, from which it is distinct morphologically and in some physiological characteristics. It is distinct physiologically and biochemically in a number of diagnostic features from Paracoccus versutus, in the alpha-3 subclass of the Proteobacteria and does not appear to be sufficiently closely related to any other genus of the alpha-Proteobacteria to be reassigned to a known genus. The new genus and species name Starkeya novella is proposed for T. novellus. The type strain is ATCC 8093T (= NCIMB 10456T = NCIMB 9113T = DSM 506T = IAM 12100T = IFO 12443T = CCM 1077T).


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