New to science: April 2016

Matanuska_Glacier_mouthEach month, the Microbiology Society publishes the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, which details newly discovered species of bacteria, fungi and protists. Here are a few of the new species that have been discovered and the places they’ve been found. The fullpapers are available to journal subscribers, but the abstracts are free to read.

It’s that time again where we share some of the microbial discoveries that have been made this month.

First up is Nocardia camponoti, a novel species of actinomycete. The bacterium was
isolated from the head of an ant by a team of Chinese researchers in Beijing.

Also from the insect world, microbiologists from India have isolated a new species from the gut of a wood-eating cockroach, which they call Alkalispirochaeta cellulosivorans. The researchers describe the species as being able to digest cellulose (the component of plant material which we can’t digest) and is tolerant of alkaline and salty environments.

Virgibacillus kapii is the name proposed for a new species of bacteria isolated from Thai shrimp paste. The organism was discovered by a team of researchers from Thailand and Japan. Like other fermented fish products, shrimp paste is rather salty, which provides a perfect environment for halophilic (salt-loving) bacteria to thrive in.

A team of scientists from Hungary have discovered the species Taibaiella coffeeisoli from the soil of a coffee plantation in Tanzania. The strain in question was isolated from the soil of a newly planted coffee tree, Coffea arabica.

A team of Norwegian researchers have isolated Abyssivirga alkaniphila from a deep sea hydrothermal vent system. Meanwhile, a team from China has found a new species of Proteobacteria, Psychrobacter glaciei, from the ice core of an Arctic glacier.

And my favourite for this month: Terasakiella brassicae is a new species of bacteria found in the wastewater of a pickle-processing factory by Chinese researchers. The name comes from the word Brassica, the genus name of cabbage – this refers to the pickle ingredients that the strain was isolated from.

Anand Jagatia

Image credit: Sbork on Wikimedia under CC BY-SA 3.0
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