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Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2004 May;54(Pt 3):827-35.

Rothia aeria sp. nov., Rhodococcus baikonurensis sp. nov. and Arthrobacter russicus sp. nov., isolated from air in the Russian space laboratory Mir.

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Department of Microbiology - Bioinformatics, Regeneration and Advanced Medical Science, Gifu University, Graduate School of Medicine, Tsukasa-machi 40, Gifu 500-8705, Japan.


Four Gram-positive bacteria, strains A1-17B(T), A1-22(T), A1-3(T) and A1-8, isolated from the air in the Russian space laboratory Mir, were subjected to a polyphasic taxonomic study. Phylogenetic analysis of the bacteria based on their 16S rDNA sequence showed that they belong to the genera Rothia (A1-17B(T)), Rhodococcus (A1-22(T)) and Arthrobacter (A1-3(T) and A1-8). Morphological, physiological, chemotaxonomic and genomic characteristics supported the assignments of these strains to these genera, but they could not be classified as any existing species within each respective genus. 16S rDNA similarity values between strain A1-17B(T) and its neighbours, Rothia dentocariosa genomovar II, Rothia dentocariosa, Rothia mucilaginosa and Rothia nasimurium, were respectively 99.8, 98.0, 96.4 and 95.4 %. Polyphasic taxonomic evidence indicated that strain A1-17B(T) should be categorized together with the unofficially named Rothia dentocariosa genomovar II, but clearly differentiated them from the established species of the genus ROTHIA: Strain A1-22(T) formed a coherent cluster with Rhodococcus erythropolis, Rhodococcus globerulus, Rhodococcus marinonascens and Rhodococcus percolatus in 16S rDNA sequence analysis, but DNA-DNA relatedness values were only 45.5, 35.3, 18.9 and 21.9 %. Strains A1-3(T) and A1-8 shared 99.9 % 16S rDNA sequence similarity, and strain A1-3(T) showed the highest level of 16S rDNA similarity, 96.6 %, to Arthrobacter polychromogenes. Contrasting biochemical characteristics were also identified. Finally, as a result of the polyphasic taxonomic study, three of the strains are proposed as type strains of novel species: Rothia aeria sp. nov. (A1-17B(T)=GTC 867(T)=JCM 11412(T)=DSM 14556(T)), Rhodococcus baikonurensis sp. nov. (A1-22(T)=GTC 1041(T)=JCM 11411(T)=DSM 44587(T)) and Arthrobacter russicus sp. nov. (A1-3(T)=GTC 863(T)=JCM 11414(T)=DSM 14555(T)).

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