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Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2013 May;63(Pt 5):1589-96. doi: 10.1099/ijs.0.042838-0. Epub 2012 Aug 17.

Epibacterium ulvae gen. nov., sp. nov., epibiotic bacteria isolated from the surface of a marine alga.

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School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences and Centre for Marine Bio-Innovation, University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, New South Wales, Australia.


Two Gram-reaction-negative, rod-shaped, motile bacteria, designated strains U82 and U95(T), were isolated from the marine alga Ulva australis collected at Sharks Point, Clovelly, a rocky intertidal zone near Sydney, Australia. Both strains were oxidase- and catalase-positive, formed brown- to black-pigmented colonies and required NaCl for growth. Phylogenetic analysis based on nearly complete 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that these strains belong to the Roseobacter clade within the Alphaproteobacteria. The 16S rRNA genes of both strains were identical across the sequenced 1326 nt, but showed differences in the intergenic spacer region (ITS) between the 16S and the 23S rRNA genes. At the genomic level the DNA G+C contents of strains U82 and U95(T) were identical (52.6 mol%) and they had a DNA-DNA hybridization value of 83.7%, suggesting that these strains belong to the same species. The closest described phylogenetic neighbour to strains U82 and U95(T) was Thalassobius aestuarii DSM 15283(T) with 95.8% 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity. Other close relatives include further species of the genera Thalassobius and Shimia. Strains U82 and U95(T) were negative for bacteriochlorophyll a production, showed antibacterial activity towards other marine bacteria, were resistant to the antibiotics gentamicin and spectinomycin and were unable to hydrolyse starch or gelatin. The major fatty acids (>1%) were 18 : 1ω7c, 16 : 0, 18 : 2, 10 : 0 3-OH, 12 : 0, 20 : 1 2-OH and 18 : 0. The polar lipid pattern indicated the presence of phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylcholine, two unidentified aminolipids and four unidentified phospholipids. Both strains produced ubiquinone 10 (Q-10) as the sole respiratory lipoquinone. Based on their phenotypic and phylogenetic characteristics, it is suggested that strains U82 and U95(T) are members of a novel species within a new genus for which the name Epibacterium ulvae gen. nov., sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain of the type species is U95(T) ( = DSM 24752(T) = LMG 26464(T)).

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