A novel bacterial strain, MC10(T), was isolated from a compost sample produced in a composting machine utilizing soil from Motobu-town, Okinawa, Japan. The isolate was Gram-negative, but produced endospores. These conflicting characters prompted a taxonomic study of the isolate. The isolate was examined using a combination of phenotypic characterization, cellular fatty acid analysis, DNA base composition determination and 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. Phylogenetic analysis, based on 16S rRNA gene sequence comparisons, placed strain MC10(T) within the genus Paenibacillus. As in other Paenibacillus species, the isolate contained anteiso-C(15:0) as the major fatty acid and the DNA G+C content was 47.0 mol%. However, 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity values of less than 95.6% were found between this isolate and all members of the genus Paenibacillus. Based upon these results, strain MC10(T) (=GTC 1835(T)=JCM 12774(T)=CCUG 50090(T)) should be designated as the type strain of a novel species within the genus Paenibacillus, Paenibacillus motobuensis sp. nov.