A rod-shaped, Gram-stain-positive, obligately anaerobic, xylan-degrading bacterium, SK-Y3T, was isolated from oily-sludge of Shengli oilfield, China. Optimum growth occurred at 50 °C, at pH 7.5 and without addition of NaCl. The predominant cellular fatty acids of strain SK-Y3T were iso-C15 : 0, anteiso-C15 : 0 and iso-C17 : 0, and the main polar lipids were glycolipids (GL), lipids (L), phosphatidylglycerol (PG) and diphosphatidylglycerol (DPG); no respiratory quinones were detected. The genomic DNA G+C content was 37.2 mol%. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that strain SK-Y3T belongs to clostridial cluster III, exhibiting 91-92% sequence similarity to the most closely related species, namely Clostridium clariflavum, Clostridium straminisolvens and Acetivibrio cellulolyticus. Based on distinct physiological and phylogenetic differences from the aforementioned described taxa, strain SK-Y3T (=DSM 103557T=ACCC 19952T) is proposed as the type strain of a novel species of a new genus, Petroclostridium xylanilyticum gen. nov., sp. nov. Furthermore, analysis through 16S rRNA gene, ribosomal protein and whole genome sequences indicated that clostridial cluster III members should be reclassified into four novel genera for which the names Hungateiclostridium gen. nov., Thermoclostridium gen. nov., Ruminiclostridium gen. nov. and Pseudoclostridium gen. nov. are proposed. In combination with the genera Anaerobacterium, Cellulosibacter, Ercella, Fastidiosipila, Mageeibacillus, Pseudobacteroides, Petroclostridium and Saccharofermentans, clostridial cluster III members formed a monophyletic clade within the order Clostridiales but that was clearly distinguished from other Ruminococcaceae members, which is proposed as a novel family, Hungateiclostridiaceae fam. nov.
Keywords: Clostridial cluster III; Clostridium; Hungateiclostridiaceae; Petroclostridium xylanilyticum; phylogenomic analysis.