Acidipropionibacterium virtanenii sp. nov., isolated from malted barley

Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2018 Oct;68(10):3175-3183. doi: 10.1099/ijsem.0.002965. Epub 2018 Aug 29.


A Gram-stain-positive, catalase-positive and pleomorphic rod organism was isolated from malted barley in Finland, classified initially by partial 16S rRNA gene sequencing and originally deposited in the VTT Culture Collection as a strain of Propionibacterium acidipropionici (currently Acidipropionibacterium acidipropionici). The subsequent comparison of the whole 16S rRNA gene with other representatives of the genus Acidipropionibacterium revealed that the strain belongs to a novel species, most closely related to Acidipropionibacterium microaerophilum and Acidipropionibacterium acidipropionici, with similarity values of 98.46 and 98.31 %, respectively. The whole genome sequencing using PacBio RS II platform allowed further comparison of the genome with all of the other DNA sequences available for the type strains of the Acidipropionibacterium species. Those comparisons revealed the highest similarity of strain JS278T to A. acidipropionici, which was confirmed by the average nucleotide identity analysis. The genome of strain JS278T is intermediate in size compared to the A. acidipropionici and Acidipropionibacterium jensenii at 3 432 872 bp, the G+C content is 68.4 mol%. The strain fermented a wide range of carbon sources, and produced propionic acid as the major fermentation product. Besides its poor ability to grow at 37 °C and positive catalase reaction, the observed phenotype was almost indistinguishable from those of A. acidipropionici and A. jensenii. Based on our findings, we conclude that the organism represents a novel member of the genus Acidipropionibacterium, for which we propose the name Acidipropionibacteriumvirtanenii sp. nov. The type strain is JS278T (=VTT E-113202T=DSM 106790T).

Keywords: A. acidipropionici; A. jensenii; Acidipropionibacterium virtanenii; defence mechanisms; malted barley; pseudovitamin B12.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Typing Techniques
  • Base Composition
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Fermentation
  • Finland
  • Hordeum / microbiology*
  • Phylogeny*
  • Propionibacterium / classification*
  • Propionibacterium / genetics
  • Propionibacterium / isolation & purification
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S