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Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2010 Jun;60(Pt 6):1280-8. doi: 10.1099/ijs.0.014118-0. Epub 2009 Aug 10.

Listeria marthii sp. nov., isolated from the natural environment, Finger Lakes National Forest.

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Enteric Diseases Laboratory Branch and Bacterial Zoonoses Branch, Division of Foodborne, Bacterial, and Mycotic Diseases, National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-borne and Enteric Diseases, Coordinating Center for Infectious Disease, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.


Four isolates (FSL S4-120(T), FSL S4-696, FSL S4-710, and FSL S4-965) of Gram-positive, motile, facultatively anaerobic, non-spore-forming bacilli that were phenotypically similar to species of the genus Listeria were isolated from soil, standing water and flowing water samples obtained from the natural environment in the Finger Lakes National Forest, New York, USA. The four isolates were closely related to one another and were determined to be the same species by whole genome DNA-DNA hybridization studies (>82 % relatedness at 55 degrees C and >76 % relatedness at 70 degrees C with 0.0-0.5 % divergence). 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis confirmed their close phylogenetic relatedness to Listeria monocytogenes and Listeria innocua and more distant relatedness to Listeria welshimeri, L. seeligeri, L. ivanovii and L. grayi. Phylogenetic analysis of partial sequences for sigB, gap, and prs showed that these isolates form a well-supported sistergroup to L. monocytogenes. The four isolates were sufficiently different from L. monocytogenes and L. innocua by DNA-DNA hybridization to warrant their designation as a new species of the genus Listeria. The four isolates yielded positive reactions in the AccuProbe test that is purported to be specific for L. monocytogenes, did not ferment L-rhamnose, were non-haemolytic on blood agar media, and did not contain a homologue of the L. monocytogenes virulence gene island. On the basis of their phenotypic characteristics and their genotypic distinctiveness from L. monocytogenes and L. innocua, the four isolates should be classified as a new species within the genus Listeria, for which the name Listeria marthii sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain of L. marthii is FSL S4-120(T) (=ATCC BAA-1595(T) =BEIR NR 9579(T) =CCUG 56148(T)). L. marthii has not been associated with human or animal disease at this time.

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