The taxonomic positions of four aerobic, obligately halo(alkali)philic/-tolerant, methanotrophic bacteria previously affiliated with the genera (‘ ’ strains 20Z and 5Z) and ( strains AMO1 and NI) were investigated. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that the strains form a separate branch within the type I methanotrophic bacteria and are closely related to . DNA–DNA hybridization data revealed relatively low levels of relatedness of sp. AMO1 and sp. N1 with each other and with previously described species of the genera and (<55 %), indicating that they may represent novel species. Based on the results presented here and on previously reported morphological and physiological characteristics, we classify these halotolerant and halophilic methanotrophic strains as representing novel species within the genus : sp. nov. (type strain 20Z =VKM B-2133 =NCIMB 14124; reference strain 5Z =VKM B-2180), sp. nov. (type strain NI =VKM B-2462 =FERM BP-5633 =NBRC 103677) and sp. nov. (type strain AMO1 =NCCB 97157 =NCIMB 13566 =VKM B-2464). The genus has been emended in its description.


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