Strain EDIVT, an exopolysaccharide-producing bacterium, was subjected to polyphasic characterization. The bacterium produced copious amounts of an extracellular polysaccharide, forming slimy, viscous, intensely yellow-pigmented colonies on Czapek-Dox (CZD) agar. The culture fluids of the liquid version of CZD medium were highly viscous after cultivation for 5 d. Cells of strain EDIVT were Gram-negative, catalase-positive, oxidase-negative, nonspore-forming, rod-shaped and motile. Comparisons of 16S rDNA gene sequences demonstrated that EDIVT clusters phylogenetically with the species of the genus Sphingomonas sensu stricto. The G+C content of the DNA (64.5 mol%), the presence of ubiquinone Q-10, the presence of 2-hydroxymyristic acid (14:0 2-OH) as the major hydroxylated fatty acid, the absence of 3-hydroxy fatty acids and the detection of sym-homospermidine as the major component in the polyamine pattern, together with the presence of sphingoglycolipid, supported this delineation. 16S rDNA sequence analysis indicated that strain EDIVT is most closely related (99.4% similarity) to Sphingomonas trueperi LMG 2142T. DNA-DNA hybridization showed that the level of relatedness to S. trueperi is only 45.5%. Further differences were apparent in the cellular fatty acid profile, the polar lipid pattern, the Fourier-transform infrared spectrum and whole-cell proteins and in a number of biochemical characteristics. On the basis of the estimated phylogenetic position derived from 16S rDNA sequence data, DNA-DNA reassociation and phenotypic differences, strain EDIVT (= CIP 106154T = DSM 13101T) was recognized as a new species of Sphingomonas, for which the name Sphingomonas pituitosa sp. nov. is proposed. A component analysis of the exopolysaccharide (named PS-EDIV) suggested that it represents a novel type of sphingan composed of glucose, rhamnose and an unidentified sugar. Glucuronic acid, which is commonly found in sphingans, was absent. The mean molecular mass of PS-EDIV was approximately 3 x 10(6) Da.


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