Strain ISS653T, isolated from Atlantic seawater, is a yellow pigmented, non-motile, Gram-reaction-negative rod-shaped bacterium, strictly aerobic and chemoorganotrophic, slightly halophilic (1-15 % NaCl) and mesophilic (4-37 °C), oxidase- and catalase-positive and proteolytic. Its major cellular fatty acids are iso-C15 : 0, iso-C15 : 0 2-OH, and iso-C17 : 0 3-OH; the major identified phospholipid is phosphatidylethanolamine and the major respiratory quinone is MK6. Genome size is 4.28 Mbp and DNA G+C content is 34.9 mol%. 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity places the strain among members of the family Flavobacteriaceae, with the type strains of Mesonia phycicola (93.2 %), Salegentibacter mishustinae (93.1 %) and Mesonia mobilis (92.9 %) as closest relatives. Average amino acid identity (AAI) and average nucleotide identity (ANI) indices show highest values with M. mobilis (81 % AAI; 78.9 % ANI), M. phycicola (76 % AAI; 76.3 % ANI), Mesonia maritima (72 % AAI, 74.9 % ANI), Mesonia hippocampi (64 % AAI, 70.8 % ANI) and Mesonia algae (68 % AAI; 72.2 % ANI). Phylogenomic analysis using the Up-to-date-Bacterial Core Gene set (UBCG) merges strain ISS653T in a clade with species of the genus Mesonia. We conclude that strain ISS653T represents a novel species of the genus Mesonia for which we propose the name Mesonia oceanica sp. nov., and strain ISS653T (=CECT 9532T=LMG 31236T) as the type strain. A second strain of the species, ISS1889 (=CECT 30008) was isolated from Pacific Ocean seawater. Data obtained throughout the Tara oceans expedition indicate that the species is more abundant in the mesopelagic dark ocean than in the photic layer and it is more frequent in the South Pacific, Indian and North Atlantic oceans.
Keywords: Flavobacteriaceae; Mesonia; Mesonia oceanica; marine bacteria; mesopelagic zone; taxogenomics.