Three strains of coryneform rods isolated from clinical samples and one of environmental origin exhibited phenotypic and chemotaxonomic properties characteristic of the genus Brevibacterium and their 16S rRNA gene sequences were closely related (98.5-99.0 %) to that of Brevibacterium otitidis. However, DNA-DNA hybridization of one strain (CF87(T)) showed only 59.6 % relatedness to the type strain of B. otitidis, DSM 10718(T), and 75-82 % relatedness to the three other strains. The four strains could be differentiated from B. otitidis by cellular fatty acid composition and some phenotypic characteristics. These findings suggest that the four strains belong to a novel species, for which the name Brevibacterium lutescens sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain of B. lutescens is CF87(T) (=DSM 15022(T)=CCUG 46604(T)).