A novel, psychrotolerant, facultative anaerobe, strain FTR1T, was isolated from Pleistocene ice from the permafrost tunnel in Fox, Alaska. Gram-positive, motile, rod-shaped cells were observed with sizes 0.6-0.7 x 0.9-1.5 microm. Growth occurred within the pH range 6.5-9.5 with optimum growth at pH 7.3-7.5. The temperature range for growth of the novel isolate was 0-28 degrees C and optimum growth occurred at 24 degrees C. The novel isolate does not require NaCl; growth was observed between 0 and 5 % NaCl with optimum growth at 0.5 % (w/v). The novel isolate was a catalase-negative chemoorganoheterotroph that used as substrates sugars and some products of proteolysis. The metabolic end products were acetate, ethanol and CO2. Strain FTR1T was sensitive to ampicillin, tetracycline, chloramphenicol, rifampicin, kanamycin and gentamicin. 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis showed 99.8 % similarity between strain FTR1T and Carnobacterium alterfunditum, but DNA-DNA hybridization between them demonstrated 39+/-1.5 % relatedness. On the basis of genotypic and phenotypic characteristics, it is proposed that strain FTR1T (=ATCC BAA-754T=JCM 12174T=CIP 108033T) be assigned to the novel species Carnobacterium pleistocenium sp. nov.