16S rRNA phylogenetic analysis of a number of yellow- and orange-pigmented strains isolated from a variety of Antarctic habitats including sea ice, lakewater and cyanobacterial mats indicated a close relationship to the genus Flavobacterium but distinct from known Flavobacterium species. Phenotypic properties, DNA G+C content and whole-cell fatty acid profiles of the Antarctic strains were consistent with those of the genus Flavobacterium. DNA-DNA hybridization analysis indicated the presence of two distinct and novel genospecies each isolated from a different Antarctic habitat. From polyphasic taxonomic data it is proposed that the two groups represent new species with the following proposed names: Flavobacterium gillisiae (ACAM 601T) and Flavobacterium tegetincola (ACAM 602T). In addition polyphasic analysis of the species '[Cytophaga] xantha' (Inoue and Komagata 1976), isolated from Antarctic mud, indicated it was a distinct member of the genus Flavobacterium and was thus revived as Flavobacterium xanthum. Phylogenetic and fatty acid analyses also indicate that the species [Flavobacterium] salegens (Dobson et al. 1993), from Organic Lake, Antarctica, is misclassified at the genus level. It is proposed that this species belongs to a new genus, Salegentibacter salegens gen. nov., comb. nov.