An anaerobic, saccharolytic bacterial strain designated GLS2T was isolated from aggregates of the psychrotolerant archaeon Methanosarcina mazei strain JL01 isolated from arctic permafrost. Bacterial cells were non-motile, spherical, ovoid and annular with diameter 0.2-4 μm. They were chemoorganoheterotrophs using a wide range of mono-, di- and trisaccharides as carbon and energy sources. The novel isolate required yeast extract and vitamins for growth. The bacteria exhibited resistance to a number of β-lactam antibiotics, rifampicin, streptomycin and vancomycin. Optimum growth was observed between 30 and 34 °C, at pH 6.8-7.5 and with 1-2 g NaCl l- 1. Isolate GLS2T was a strict anaerobe but it tolerated oxygen exposure. On the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity, strain GLS2T was shown to belong to the genus Sphaerochaeta within the family Spirochaetaceae. Its closest relatives were Sphaerochaeta globosa BuddyT (99.3 % 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity) and Sphaerochaeta pleomorpha GrapesT (95.4 % similarity). The G+C content of DNA was 47.2 mol%. The level of DNA-DNA hybridization between strains GLS2T and BuddyT was 34.7 ± 8.8 %. Major polar lipids were phosphoglycolipids, phospholipids and glycolipids; major fatty acids were C14 : 0, C16 : 0, C16 : 0 3-OH, C16 : 0 dimethyl acetal (DMA), C16 : 1n8 and C16 : 1 DMA; respiratory quinones were not detected. The results of DNA-DNA hybridization, physiological and biochemical tests demonstrated genotypic and phenotypic differentiation of strain GLS2T from the four species of the genus Sphaerochaeta with validly published names that allowed its separation into a new lineage at the species level. Strain GLS2T therefore represents a novel species, for which the name Sphaerochaeta associata sp. nov. is proposed, with the type strain GLS2T ( = DSM 26261T = VKM B-2742T).