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Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2007 Dec;57(Pt 12):2940-5.

Howardella ureilytica gen. nov., sp. nov., a Gram-positive, coccoid-shaped bacterium from a sheep rumen.

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  • 1Health Protection Agency, Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response, Porton Down, Salisbury SP4 0JG, UK.


An unidentified obligately anaerobic, fastidious, Gram-positive, non-motile, non-spore-forming, non-fermentative coccoid-shaped bacterium (designated strain GPC 589(T)) was isolated from the rumen fluid of a sheep. The major fatty acid constituents (>5 %) were C(16 : 0) (29.2 %), C(18 : 0) (40.7 %) and an unidentified compound (19.7 %) with an equivalent chain-length of 13.523. The G+C content of the DNA was 34 mol%. The organism was strongly ureolytic and generated ATP through the hydrolysis of urea. Comparative 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis demonstrated that strain GPC 589(T) was far removed, phylogenetically, from the ruminococci and related Gram-positive anaerobic cocci but exhibited a phylogenetic association with Clostridium rRNA cluster XIVa [as defined by Collins, M. D., Lawson, P. A., Willems, A., Cordoba, J. J., Fernandez-Garayzabal, J., Garcia, P., Cai, J., Hippe, H. & Farrow, J. A. E. (1994). Int J Syst Bacteriol 44, 812-826]. Sequence divergence values of 12.5 % or more were observed between strain GPC 589(T) and all other recognized species within this and related rRNA clostridial clusters. Phylogenetic analysis showed that strain GPC 589(T) represents a new genus within cluster XIVa. On the basis of both phylogenetic and phenotypic evidence, it is proposed that strain GPC 589(T) should be classified as representing a new genus and novel species, Howardella ureilytica gen. nov., sp. nov. The type strain is strain GPC 589(T) (=DSM 15118(T)=JCM 13267(T)).

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