Two pigmented, Gram-negative, non-motile, pleomorphic rod-shaped bacteria (strains SPM-9 and SPM-10) were isolated from a permafrost soil collected from the Adventdalen valley, Spitsbergen, northern Norway. A third isolate (strain M5-H2) was recovered from the same soil sample after the sample had been exposed to simulated Martian environmental conditions. The three strains were characterized taxonomically by using a polyphasic approach. Phylogenetic, chemotaxonomic, physiological and morphological analyses demonstrated that the three isolates were most closely related to members of the genus . 16S rRNA gene sequence data indicated that the three isolates could be divided into two clusters: (i) strain SPM-9 and (ii) strains SPM-10 and M5-H2. This grouping was confirmed by DNA–DNA hybridization experiments. Strains SPM-9 and SPM-10 exhibited 92 % 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity to both LMG 10896 and WPCB 118. The major fatty acids present in all three isolates were summed feature 3 (comprising iso-C 2-OH and/or C 7; 43.0–48.2 % of the total), C 5 (19.1–21.3 %), C (6.7–7.3 %), iso-C 3-OH (4.7–6.0 %) and iso-C (2.6–5.7 %). On the basis of their phenotypic and genotypic characteristics, the new strains are assigned to two novel species of the genus , for which the names sp. nov. and sp. nov. are proposed. The type strain of is SPM-9 (=NCIMB 14407=DSM 19989) and the type strain of is SPM-10 (=NCIMB 14406=DSM 19990). An emended description of the genus is also proposed.


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