A bacterial strain, designated 96CJ10356T, which produced abundant extracellular polysaccharides and red pigment was isolated from marine sediment collected from Marado, Cheju Island, Republic of Korea. The organism is Gram-negative, aerobic, rod-shaped and motile. Growth was not observed in the absence of NaCl, and was optimal at an NaCl concentration of 2%. The strain contained oxidase and catalase, and was able to hydrolyse aesculin and gelatin. The major cellular fatty acids were saturated or monounsaturated straight-chain fatty acids. An almost complete 16S rDNA sequence of the test strain was determined. Phylogenetic analysis based on the neighbour-joining and Fitch-Margoliash methods indicated that the organism formed a distinct phyletic line within the gamma Proteobacteria. This relationship was also supported by sequence comparison, as no valid bacterial species showed more than 90% sequence homology with the isolate. It is clear from polyphasic evidence that the isolate merits the status of genus in the gamma subclass of the Proteobacteria, and the name Hahella chejuensis gen. nov., sp. nov. is proposed for the marine isolate 96CJ10356T (= KCTC 2396T = IMSNU 11157T).


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