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Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2003 May;53(Pt 3):779-85.

Oleispira antarctica gen. nov., sp. nov., a novel hydrocarbonoclastic marine bacterium isolated from Antarctic coastal sea water.

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Istituto Sperimentale Talassografico, CNR, Spianata San Raineri 86, 98122 Messina, Italy.


The taxonomic characteristics of two bacterial strains, RB-8(T) and RB-9, isolated from hydrocarbon-degrading enrichment cultures obtained from Antarctic coastal marine environments (Rod Bay, Ross Sea), were determined. These bacteria were psychrophilic, aerobic and Gram-negative with polar flagella. Growth was not observed in the absence of NaCl, occurred only at concentrations of Na+ above 20 mM and was optimal at an NaCl concentration of 3-5% (w/v). The major cellular fatty acids were monounsaturated straight-chain fatty acids. The strains were able to synthesize the polyunsaturated fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid (20: 5omega3) at low temperatures. The DNA G + C contents were 41-42 mol%. The strains formed a distinct phyletic line within the gamma-Proteobacteria, with less than 89.6% sequence identity to their closest relatives within the Bacteria with validly published names. Both isolates exhibited a restricted substrate profile, with a preference for aliphatic hydrocarbons, that is typical of marine hydrocarbonoclastic micro-organisms such as Alcanivorax, Marinobacter and Oleiphilus. On the basis of ecophysiological properties, G + C content, 16S rRNA gene sequences and fatty acid composition, a novel genus and species within the gamma-Proteobacteria are proposed, Oleispira antarctica gen. nov., sp. nov.; strain RB-8(T) (= DSM 14852(T) = LMG 21398(T)) is the type strain.

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