The taxonomic position of a group of actinobacterial strains isolated from the phyllosphere of potato plants was investigated by using a polyphasic approach. Although the similarity values for their 16S rRNA gene sequences suggested an intermediate position between and , the phylogenetic tree demonstrated a clear clustering of the representative strain, K 114/01, within the genus . The presence of 2,4-diaminobutyric acid as the diagnostic diamino acid in the cell-wall peptidoglycan of strain K 114/01 substantiated the affiliation to the genus . An analysis performed using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry revealed highly similar spectral patterns for the isolated strains, which, together with their conformity regarding a multitude of phenotypic features, supported their affiliation to the same species. Differences in several physiological features, peptidoglycan and menaquinone composition and whole-cell fatty acid profiles enabled discrimination of the phyllosphere isolates with respect to recognized species. As the 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity values were below 97 %, the strains isolated from the phyllosphere of potato plants represent a novel species of the genus , for which the name sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is K 114/01 (=DSM 19812 =LMG 24386).


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