A novel Gram-negative, motile, aerobic rod-shaped bacterium was isolated from a Bathymodiolus sp. specimen collected from the Logatchev hydrothermal vent field at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The novel strain, M41(T), was catalase- and oxidase-positive and metabolised various carbohydrates and amino acids. It grew well in marine broth with an optimal growth temperature of 31 degrees C to 34 degrees C (range 4-40 degrees C) and salinity requirement of 3% (range 0.3-9%). The pH range for growth was pH 4.6 to 9.5, with an optimum at pH 8.0. The predominant fatty acids were C(16:1)omega7c, C(16:0) and C(18:1)omega7c. The DNA G+C content of strain M41(T) was 52.2 mol%. The 16S rRNA gene sequence was 94 % similar to that of the type strain of Oceanospirillum beijerinckii, the closest cultivated relative. Other related type strains were Oceanospirillum multiglobuliferum (93% gene sequence similarity), Neptunomonas naphthovorans (92%) and Marinobacterium jannaschii (92%). According to phylogenetic analysis and physiological characteristics, it is suggested that strain M41(T) represents a new genus and novel species for which the name Amphritea atlantica gen. nov., sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is M41(T) (=DSM 18887(T)=LMG 24143(T)).