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International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology


Cephalotes ‘turtle’ ants host a core group of gut–associated symbionts, but their potential contributions to ant nutrition and disease resistance remain uncharacterized in vitro. To gain a better understanding of the metabolic capability of core symbionts belonging to the Burkholderiales, we cultivated and characterized strain CAG32T from the guts of Cephalotes rohweri ants. Strain CAG32T was rod-shaped, Gram-stain-negative, motile and formed pale-white colonies on trypticase soy agar. Optimum growth occurred under an atmosphere of 20% O2 supplemented with 1% CO2. Strain CAG32T grew under NaCl concentrations of 0–2.0%, temperatures of 23–47 °C and pH values of 4.0–8.0, and was capable of producing n-butyric acid and degrading carbohydrates for growth. The G+C content of the genomic DNA was 59.2±0.6 mol% and the major fatty acids were C16 :0, C16 :1ω7c/C16 :1ω6c, C17 :0 cylcopropane, C12 :0 and C14 :0 3-OH/C16 :1 iso I. The only respiratory quinone detected was ubiquinone-8 (Q-8) and the major polar lipids were phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylglycerol and diphosphatidylglycerol. Based on phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequence, strain CAG32T shared 96.9% nucleotide similarity with its closest cultivated neighbours Bordetella petrii Se-1111RT and Bordetella bronchiseptica ATCC 19395T. This, combined with differences in the phenotypic and biochemical profile from neighbouring strains, warrants the classification of strain CAG32T as representing a novel species of a new genus within the Burkholderiales family Alcaligenaceae. The name Saccharedens versatilis gen. nov., sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain of Saccharedens versatilis is CAG32T (=NCIMB 15010T=DSM 100909T).

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