A novel exopolysaccharide-producing bacterium, designated strain 9a2(T), was isolated from Pacific Ocean sediment. The strain was Gram-stain-negative, motile, strictly aerobic, oxidase- and catalase-positive, and required NaCl for growth. Its major isoprenoid quinone was ubiquinone-8 (Q-8), and its cellular fatty acid profile consisted mainly of C16 : 1ω7c, C18 : 1ω9c and C16 : 0. The DNA G+C content was 46.6 mol%. 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis suggested that strain 9a2(T) is a member of the genus Alteromonas . Strain 9a2(T) exhibited closest phylogenetic affinity to Alteromonas macleodii NBRC 102226(T) (99.3% 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity), A. marina SW-47(T) (99.3%), A. litorea TF-22(T) (99.0%), A. australica H17(T) (98.7%), A. simiduii BCRC 17572(T) (98.5%), A. stellipolaris LMG 21861(T) (98.3%) and A. hispanica F-32(T) (98.2%). The DNA-DNA reassociation values between strain 9a2(T) and A. macleodii JCM 20772(T), A. marina JCM 11804(T), A. litorea JCM 12188(T), A. australica CIP 109921(T), A. simiduii JCM 13896(T), A. stellipolaris LMG 21861(T) and A. hispanica LMG 22958(T) were below 70%. Strain 9a2(T) contained phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylglycerol and an unidentified polar lipid. Owing to differences in phenotypic and chemotaxonomic characteristics, phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences and DNA-DNA relatedness data, the isolate merits classification as representing a novel species, for which the name Alteromonas gracilis sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain of this species is 9a2(T) ( =JCM 30236(T) =NCIMB 14947(T)).
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