An unknown gram-positive, catalase-positive, strictly aerobic, rod-shaped bacterium was isolated from the nasal cavities of two common seals. Chemical analysis revealed the presence in the bacterium of a hitherto unknown cell-wall murein [type: L-Lys-L-Ala2-Gly(2-3)-L-Ala (Gly)]. Comparative 16S rRNA gene sequencing showed that the unidentified rod was related to the Arthrobacter group of organisms, although sequence divergence values of >3% from established members of this genus indicated that it represents a novel species. On the basis of phenotypic and phylogenetic considerations, it is proposed that the unknown bacterium from seals (Phoca vitulina) be classified as a novel species, Arthrobacter nasiphocae sp. nov. The type strain of Arthrobacter nasiphocae is CCUG 42953T.


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