A facultatively anaerobic, mesophilic, non-motile, non-sporulating bacterium, designated strain B7, was isolated from an anaerobic digester fed with shea cake rich in tannins and aromatic compounds, after enrichment on tannic acid. The coccoid cells (less than 2 microm in diameter) occurred in pairs or short chains and stained gram-positive. Strain B7 fermented a wide range of carbohydrates (cellobiose, fructose, galactose, glucose, lactose, maltose, mannitol, melibiose, raffinose and trehalose), grew optimally at pH 7.0 and had a G+C content of 40.4+/-0.3 mol%. Strain B7 was closely related to Streptococcus gallolyticus ACM 3611T, a member of the Streptococcus bovis rRNA cluster, with a sequence similarity of 98% and a DNA hybridization value of 86 mol%. Isolate B7 hydrolysed tannic acid and decarboxylated gallic acid to pyrogallol, traits also observed in S. gallolyticus ACM 3611T. In addition, both strains decarboxylated protocatechuic acid to catechol, p-coumaric acid to 4-vinylphenol, caffeic acid to 4-vinylcatechol and ferulic acid to 4-vinylguaiacol. An unsubstituted para-hydroxyl group on the benzene ring was required for decarboxylation. Glucose addition markedly increased the conversion rate. As these traits were not described previously, emendation of the description of the species Streptococcus gallolyticus is proposed.


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