An anaerobic, mesophilic, syntrophic, propionate-oxidizing bacterium, strain MGP(T), was isolated as a defined co-culture with Methanospirillum hungatei from the methanogenic sludge of a mesophilic upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor. The strain grew in the presence of propionate, but only in co-culture with methanogens, suggesting that it is an obligately syntrophic bacterium. The optimum temperature for growth was 37 degrees C, and the optimum pH was between 6.5 and 7.2. Based on comparative 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, strain MGP(T) was affiliated with subcluster Ih of 'Desulfotomaculum cluster I', in which it was found to be moderately related to known species of the genera Pelotomaculum and Cryptanaerobacter. Similar to known species of the genus Pelotomaculum, strain MGP(T) could degrade propionate in syntrophy, but had no ability to reduce sulfate, sulfite and thiosulfate. Further phenotypic and genetic studies supported the affiliation of the strain as a novel species in this genus, for which the name Pelotomaculum propionicicum sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is MGP(T) (=DSM 15578(T)=JCM 11929(T)). The strain has been deposited in the DSM and JCM culture collections as a defined co-culture with Methanospirillum hungatei.