Bacillus marismortui sp. nov., a new moderately halophilic species from the Dead Sea

David R. Arahal, M. Carmen Marquez, Benjamin E. Volcani, Karl H. Schleifer, Antonio Ventosa

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A group of 91 moderately halophilic, Gram-positive, rod-shaped strains were isolated from enrichments prepared from Dead Sea water samples collected 57 years ago. These strains were examined for 117 morphological, physiological, biochemical, nutritional and antibiotic susceptibility characteristics. All strains formed endospores and were motile, strictly aerobic and positive for catalase and oxidase. They grew in media containing 5-25% (w/v) total salts, showing optimal growth at 10% (w/v). Eighteen strains were chosen as representative isolates and were studied in more detail. All these strains had mesodiaminopimelic acid in the cell wall and a DNA G+C content of 39.0-42.8 mol%; they constitute a group with levels of DNA-DNA similarity of 70-100%. The sequences of the 16S rRNA genes of three representative strains (strains 123(T), 557 and 832) were almost identical (99.9%), and placed the strains in the low G+C content Gram-positive bacteria. On the basis of their features, these isolates should be regarded as members of a new species of the genus Bacillus, for which the name Bacillus marismortui sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is strain 123(T) (= DSM 12325(T) =ATCC 700626(T) = CIP 105609(T) = CECT 5066(T)).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-530
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Systematic Bacteriology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • 16S rRNA sequence
  • Bacillus marismortui
  • Cell wall type
  • DNA-DNA similarity
  • Taxonomy


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