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Extremophiles. 2006 Aug;10(4):285-94. Epub 2006 Feb 18.

Characterization of Exiguobacterium isolates from the Siberian permafrost. Description of Exiguobacterium sibiricum sp. nov.

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NASA Astrobiology Institute, Center for Microbial Ecology, Michigan State University, 540 Plant and Soil Science Building, East Lansing, MI, USA.


Three Gram-positive bacterial strains, 7-3, 255-15 and 190-11, previously isolated from Siberian permafrost, were characterized and taxonomically classified. These microorganisms are rod-shaped, facultative aerobic, motile with peritrichous flagella and their growth ranges are from -2.5 to 40 degrees C. The chemotaxonomic markers indicated that the three strains belong to the genus Exiguobacterium. Their peptidoglycan type was A3alpha L-Lys-Gly. The predominant menaquinone detected in all three strains was MK7. The polar lipids present were phosphatidyl-glycerol, diphosphatidyl-glycerol and phosphatidyl-ethanolamine. The major fatty acids were iso-C13:0, anteiso-C13:0, iso-C15:0, C16:0 and iso-C17:0. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA and six diverse genes, gyrB (gyrase subunit B), rpoB (DNA-directed RNA polymerase beta subunit), recA (homologous recombination), csp (cold shock protein), hsp70 (ClassI-heat shock protein-chaperonin) and citC (isocitrate dehydrogenase), indicated that the strains were closely related to Exiguobacterium undae (DSM 14481(T)) and Exiguobacterium antarcticum (DSM 14480(T)). On the basis of the phenotypic characteristics, phylogenetic data and DNA-DNA reassociation data, strain 190-11 was classified as E. undae, while the other two isolates, 7-3 and 255-15, comprise a novel species, for which the name Exiguobacterium sibiricum sp. nov. is proposed.

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