Acidobacteria represent abundant members of soil microbial communities but only few representatives could be isolated and validly described so far. Currently, eighteen species of subdivision 1, one species of subdivision 3, three species of subdivision 8, and one species of subdivision 10 are recognized. In contrast, Acidobacteria of subdivision 4 have largely escaped cultivation although they belong to the most abundant and diverse acidobacterial groups in soils. A member of subdivision 4, strain A2-16(T), was isolated from a semiarid savanna soil. Cells were motile spheres to rods with a tendency to form chains and larger aggregates. Cultures were orange to pink colored, neutrophilic mesophiles, and showed aerobic chemoorganoheterotrophic growth on very few complex substrates and protocatechuate, and weak growth on chitin, cellulose and starch. While protein substrates such as casamino acids or peptone were utilized, individual amino acids did not promote growth. Also, growth on alternative electron acceptors or fermentative growth could not be observed. Major fatty acids were summed features 1 (15:1 iso H/13:0 3-OH) and 3 (16:1ω7c/15:0 iso 2-OH). The major quinone was MK-8. The DNA G+C content was 46.5mol%. Phylogenetic analysis placed A2-16(T) amidst uncultured members of Acidobacteria subdivision 4. The most closely related environmental 16S rRNA gene sequences (96-97% nucleotide identity) were several clone sequences from terrestrial environments. Based on these characteristics, the isolated strain is proposed as a new species of a novel genus, Blastocatella fastidiosa gen. nov., sp. nov. The type strain of B. fastidiosa is A2-16(T) (=DSM 25172(T)=LMG26944(T)).
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