A novel marine bacterial strain, PV-4(T), isolated from a microbial mat located at a hydrothermal vent of Loihi Seamount in the Pacific Ocean, has been characterized. This micro-organism is orangey in colour, Gram-negative, polarly flagellated, facultatively anaerobic and psychrotolerant (temperature range, 0-42 degrees C). No growth was observed with nitrate, nitrite, DMSO or thiosulfate as the electron acceptor and lactate as the electron donor. The major fatty acid detected in strain PV-4(T) was iso-C(15 : 0). Strain PV-4(T) had ubiquinones consisting mainly of Q-7 and Q-8, and possessed menaquinone MK-7. The DNA G+C content of the strain was 53.8 mol% and the genome size was about 4.5 Mbp. Phylogenetic analyses based on 16S rRNA gene sequences placed PV-4(T) within the genus Shewanella. PV-4(T) exhibited 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity levels of 99.6 and 97.5 %, respectively, with respect to the type strains of Shewanella aquimarina and Shewanella marisflavi. DNA from strain PV-4(T) showed low mean levels of relatedness to the DNAs of S. aquimarina (50.5 %) and S. marisflavi (8.5 %). On the basis of phylogenetic and phenotypic characteristics, the bacterium was classified in the genus Shewanella within a distinct novel species, for which the name Shewanella loihica sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is PV-4(T) (=ATCC BAA-1088(T)=DSM 17748(T)).