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Int J Syst Bacteriol. 1999 Apr;49 Pt 2:769-77.

Aquabacterium gen. nov., with description of Aquabacterium citratiphilum sp. nov., Aquabacterium parvum sp. nov. and Aquabacterium commune sp. nov., three in situ dominant bacterial species from the Berlin drinking water system.

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  • 1Technische Universität Berlin, Institut für Technischen Umweltschutz, Fachgebiet Okologie der Mikroorganismen, Germany.


Three bacterial strains isolated from biofilms of the Berlin drinking water system were characterized with respect to their morphological and physiological properties and their taxonomic position. Phenotypically, the bacteria investigated were motile, Gram-negative rods, oxidase-positive and catalase-negative, and contained polyalkanoates and polyphosphate as storage polymers. They displayed a microaerophilic growth behaviour and used oxygen and nitrate as electron acceptors, but not nitrite, chlorate, sulfate or ferric iron. The substrates metabolized included a broad range of organic acids but no carbohydrates at all. The three species can be distinguished from each other by their substrate utilization, ability to hydrolyse urea and casein, cellular protein patterns and growth on nutrient-rich media as well as their temperature, pH and NaCl tolerances. Phylogenetic analysis, based on 16S rRNA gene sequence comparison, revealed that the isolates are affiliated to the beta 1-subclass of Proteobacteria. The isolates constitute three new species with internal levels of DNA relatedness ranging from 44.9 to 51.3%. It is proposed that a new genus, Aquabacterium gen. nov., should be created, including Aquabacterium citratiphilum sp. nov., Aquabacterium parvum sp. nov. and Aquabacterium commune sp. nov. The type species of the new genus is Aquabacterium commune. The type strain of A. citratiphilum is strain B4T (= DSM 11900T), the type strain of A. parvum is strain B6T (= DSM 11968T) and the type strain of A. commune is strain B8T (= DSM 11901T).

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