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Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2010 Jan;60(Pt 1):166-73. doi: 10.1099/ijs.0.010595-0. Epub 2009 Jul 31.

Polynucleobacter cosmopolitanus sp. nov., free-living planktonic bacteria inhabiting freshwater lakes and rivers.

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Institute for Limnology, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Mondseestrasse 9, 5310 Mondsee, Austria.


Five heterotrophic, aerobic, catalase- and oxidase-positive, non-motile strains were characterized from freshwater habitats located in Austria, France, Uganda, P. R. China and New Zealand. The strains shared 16S rRNA gene similarities of >/=99.3 %. The novel strains grew on NSY medium over a temperature range of 10-35 degrees C (two strains also grew at 5 degrees C and one strain grew at 38 degrees C) and a NaCl tolerance range of 0.0-0.3 % (four strains grew up to 0.5 % NaCl). The predominant fatty acids were C(16 : 0), C(18 : 1)omega7c, C(12 : 0) 3-OH, and summed feature 3 (including C(16 : 1)omega7c). The DNA G+C content of strain MWH-MoIso2(T) was 44.9 mol%. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences demonstrated that the five new strains formed a monophyletic cluster closely related to Polynucleobacter necessarius (96-97 % sequence similarity). This cluster also harboured other isolates as well as environmental sequences which have been obtained from several habitats. Investigations with taxon-specific FISH probes demonstrated that the novel bacteria dwell as free-living, planktonic cells in freshwater systems. Based on the revealed phylogeny and pronounced chemotaxonomic differences to P. necessarius (presence of >7 % C(12 : 0) 3-OH and absence of C(12 : 0) and C(12 : 0) 2-OH), the new strains are suggested to represent a novel species, for which the name Polynucleobacter cosmopolitanus sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is MWH-MoIso2(T) (=DSM 21490(T)=CIP 109840(T)=LMG 25212(T)). The novel species belongs to the minority of described species of free-living bacteria for which both in situ data from their natural environments and culture-based knowledge are available.

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