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International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology


Two novel members of the bacterial phylum ‘Verrucomicrobia’, strains CAG34T and CV41T, were isolated from the guts of Cephalotes rohweri and Cephalotes varians ants, respectively. Strains CAG34T and CV41T were coccoid, Gram-stain-negative, non-motile, and formed creamcoloured colonies on trypticase soy agar. Optimum growth occurred under an atmosphere of 12-20% O2 and 1% CO2 for both strains, although strain CV41T could not grow without supplemental CO2. Growth was possible under NaCl concentrations of 0.5-1.5% (w/v) and temperatures of 23-37 °C for both strains, and pH values of 6.9-7.7 for strain CAG34T and 6.9-7.3 for strain CV41T. The G+C content of the genomic DNA was 60.7 mol% for strain CAG34T and 60.5 mol% for strain CV41T. The major fatty acids for both strains were anteiso-C15:0, iso-C14:0, C16:0, and C16:1ω5c. Based on the phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences, the closest cultivated relative for both strains was the type strain of Opitutus terrae (91.8% similarity). Hence, strains CAG34T and CV41T are considered to represent a new genus within the ‘Verrucomicrobia’ family Opitutaceae, for which we propose the name Cephaloticoccus gen. nov. Given that strains CAG34T and CV41T share 97.7% 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity with each other and are physiologically distinct, we propose to classify the isolates as representing two novel species, Cephaloticoccus primus sp. nov. for strain CAG34T (=NCIMB 15004T =ATCC TSD-38T) and Cephaloticoccus capnophilus sp. nov. for strain CV41T (=NCIMB 15005T =ATCC TSD-39T =DSM 100879T).

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