Methylosulfonomonas methylovora gen. nov., sp. nov., and Marinosulfonomonas methylotropha gen. nov., sp. nov.: novel methylotrophs able to grow on methanesulfonic acid
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Two novel genera of restricted facultative methylotrophs are described; both Methylosulfonomonas and Marinosulfonomonas are unique in being able to grow on methanesulfonic acid as their sole source of carbon and energy. Five identical strains of Methylosulfonomonas were isolated from diverse soil samples in England and were shown to differ in their morphology, physiology, DNA base composition, molecular genetics, and 16S rDNA sequences from the two marine strains of Marinosulfonomonas, which were isolated from British coastal waters. The marine strains were almost indistinguishable from each other and are considered to be strains of one species. Type species of each genus have been identified and named Methylosulfonomonas methylovora (strain M2) and Marinosulfonomonas methylotropha (strain PSCH4). Phylogenetic analysis using 16S rDNA sequencing places both genera in the α-Proteobacteria. Methylosulfonomonas is a discrete lineage within the α-2 subgroup and is not related closely to any other known bacterial genus. The Marinosulfonomonas strains form a monophyletic cluster in the α-3 subgroup of the Proteobacteria with Roseobacter spp. and some other partially characterized marine bacteria, but they are distinct from these at the genus level. This work shows that the isolation of bacteria with a unique biochemical character, the ability to grow on methanesulfonic acid as energy and carbon substrate, has resulted in the identification of two novel genera of methylotrophs that are unrelated to any other extant methylotroph genera.
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