A previously uncharacterized, slowly growing, scotochromogenic Mycobacterium species was detected by HPLC analysis of the cell-wall-bound mycolic acids. The mycolic acid pattern standard was shown to be a late-eluting, contiguous peak cluster occurring at approximately 8-9 min. The mycolic acid pattern was noted to be most similar in number of peaks and range of elution to that reported previously for Mycobacterium asiaticum. However, the relative distribution of peaks within the elution range demonstrated a pattern with prominent peaks that started to emerge later than the characteristic M. asiaticum pattern. Standard biochemical identification test results were similar to those of the photochromogenic species M. asiaticum. Comparative 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis confirmed the genetic uniqueness of the strains and demonstrated the unclassified mycobacteria to be in a unique, intermediate position between slow and rapid growers in the phylogenetic tree of Mycobacterium. The name Mycobacterium kubicae sp. nov. is proposed for this taxon. The type strain is CDC 941078T (= ATCC 700732T = CIP 106428T).


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