Bacillus sphaericus sensu lato currently consists of seven or more groups of unrelated taxa, one of which is B. sphaericus sensu stricto and another of which is Bacillus fusiformis. Members of two groups (groups 6 and 7), in common with all other B. sphaericus-like organisms, are unable to grow anaerobically or to use common hexoses, pentoses and hexitols as sources of carbon, have G+C contents of 34-36 mol % and form round spores. Groups 6 and 7 can be differentiated from other B. sphaericus-like organisms by low DNA relatedness and by variations in whole-cell fatty acid composition. Unique characteristics of group 6 include the ability to oxidize beta-hydroxybutyrate, the non-requirement for biotin and thiamin and failure to grow in 5% NaCl. Distinctive traits of group 7 include the inability to oxidize pyruvate and a requirement for biotin, thiamin and cystine for growth. These data show that groups 6 and 7 represent two novel species, for which the names Bacillus pycnus sp. nov. and Bacillus neidei sp. nov., respectively, are proposed; the corresponding type strains are NRRL NRS-1691T (= JCM 11075T) and NRRL BD-87T (= JCM 11077T).


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