Five strains of simmondsin-degrading, lactic-acid-producing bacteria were isolated from fermented jojoba meal. These isolates were facultatively anaerobic, gram-positive, non-motile, non-spore-forming, homofermentative, rod-shaped organisms. They grew singly and in short chains, produced lactic acid but no gas from glucose, and did not exhibit catalase activity. Growth occurred at 15 and 45 degrees C. All strains fermented cellobiose, D-fructose, D-galactose, D-glucose, lactose, maltose, D-mannitol, D-mannose, melibiose, D-ribose, salicin, D-sorbitol, sucrose and trehalose. Some strains fermented L-(-)-arabinose and L-rhamnose. D-Xylose was not fermented and starch was not hydrolysed. The mean G+C content of the DNA was 48 mol%. Phylogenetic analyses of 16S rDNA established that the isolates were members of the genus Lactobacillus. DNA reassociation of 45% or less was obtained between the new isolates and the reference strains of species with G+C contents of about 48 mol%. The isolates were differentiated from other homofermentative Lactobacillus spp. on the basis of 16S rDNA sequence divergence, DNA relatedness, stereoisomerism of the lactic acid produced, growth temperature and carbohydrate fermentation. The data support the conclusion that these organisms represent strains of a new species, for which the name Lactobacillus arizonensis is proposed. The type strain of L. arizonensis is NRRL B-14768T (= DSM 13273T).


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