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Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2005 Nov;55(Pt 6):2441-6.

Deinococcus deserti sp. nov., a gamma-radiation-tolerant bacterium isolated from the Sahara Desert.

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  • 1Laboratoire d'Ecologie Microbienne de la Rhizosphère, UMR 6191 CNRS-CEA-Université de la Méditerranée, DSV-DEVM, CEA Cadarache, F-13108 Saint-Paul-Lez-Durance, France.


Two gamma- and UV-radiation-tolerant, Gram-negative, rod-shaped bacterial strains, VCD115T and VCD117, were isolated from a mixture of sand samples collected in the Sahara Desert in Morocco and Tunisia, after exposure of the sand to 15 kGy gamma radiation. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences and DNA-DNA hybridizations showed that VCD115T and VCD117 are members of a novel species belonging to the genus Deinococcus, with Deinococcus grandis as its closest relative. The DNA G+C contents of VCD115T and VCD117 are 59.8 and 60.6 mol%, respectively. The major fatty acids (straight-chain 15 : 1, 16 : 1, 17 : 1 and 16 : 0), polar lipids (dominated by phosphoglycolipids and glycolipids) and quinone type (MK-8) support the affiliation to the genus Deinococcus. The strains did not grow on rich medium such as trypticase soy broth (TSB), but did grow as whitish colonies on tenfold-diluted TSB. The genotypic and phenotypic properties allowed differentiation of VCD115T and VCD117 from recognized Deinococcus species. Strains VCD115T and VCD117 are therefore identified as representing a novel species, for which the name Deinococcus deserti sp. nov. is proposed, with the type strain VCD115T (=DSM 17065T=LMG 22923T).

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