Five strains of the filamentous bacterium 'Nostocoida limicola' III were successfully isolated into pure culture from samples of activated sludge biomass from five plants in Australia. 16S rRNA gene sequence analyses showed that all isolates were members of the Planctomycetales, most closely related to Isosphaera pallida, but they differed phenotypically from this species in that they did not glide and were not thermotolerant. The ultrastructure of these 'N. limicola' III isolates was also consistent with them being Planctomycetales, in that they possessed complex intracellular membrane systems compartmentalizing the cells. However, the arrangements of these intracellular membranes differed between isolates. These data confirm that 'N. limicola' III is phylogenetically unrelated to both 'N. limicola' I and 'N. limicola' II, activated sludge filamentous bacteria which share morphological features in common with 'N. limicola' III and which have been presumed historically to be the same or very similar bacteria.


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