Five strains received as Gluconobacter cerinus and Gluconobacter asaii were examined for DNA base composition, DNA-DNA similarity, 16S rRNA gene sequences and phenotypic characteristics, including acid production from ethanol, growth on L-arabitol and meso-ribitol and requirement for nicotinic acid. The five strains showed DNA base compositions ranging from 54 to 56 mol% G+C. G. cerinus IFO 3267T and IAM 1832 and G. asaii IFO 3276T and IFO 3275 showed high levels of DNA-DNA similarity (70-100%) between each other and low values of DNA-DNA similarity (16-35%) to Gluconobacter frateurii IFO 3264T and Gluconobacter oxydans IFO 14819T. G. cerinus IFO 3267T and G. asaii IFO 3276T were located at an identical position in a phylogenetic tree deduced from 16S rRNA gene sequences. Two G. cerinus strains and two G. asaii strains did not require nicotinic acid for growth and did not grow on L-arabitol or meso-ribitol. G. cerinus IAM 1832 did not produce acid and required nicotinic acid and/or other growth factors. G. asaii IFO 3265 showed a high degree of DNA-DNA similarity (97%) to G. frateurii IFO 3264T and low similarity values (each 32%) to G. cerinus IFO 3267T and G. asaii IFO 3276T. This strain did not require nicotinic acid and grew well on L-arabitol and meso-ribitol. Therefore, G. asaii IFO 3265 was reclassified as G. frateurii. The results obtained revealed a synonymous relationship between G. cerinus and G. asaii. G. asaii is a junior subjective synonym of G. cerinus because G. cerinus has priority over G. asaii.


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