New to Science: August Edition

Posted on August 14, 2014   by Jon Fuhrmann

Each month, the Society for General Microbiology 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 full papers are available to journal subscribers, but the abstracts are free to read.

The glorious weather here in the capital has seen London Zoo become a visitor magnet as city dwellers and tourists alike. In particular, the newborn black-capped squirrel monkey baby has been drawing squeals of delight from an adoring crowd.

Close cousins of this tiny new world monkey, a group of marmosets, has been found to be home to a new species of bacterium – Bifidobacterium aesculapii – which was discovered by Italian scientists in the faeces of a baby marmoset. Similarly, lion-tailed macaques in Fota Wildlife Park, Cork, Ireland, yielded Campylobacter corcagiensis upon investigation by researchers from Cork and Belgium.

In Prague, Czech scientists have painstakingly reared bumblebee queens in a laboratory. In their digestive tract, they discovered the new Lactobacillus bombi, a new member of a genus of bacteria that convert sugar to lactic acid. Working in the field, a team of Korean researchers isolated Flavobacterium faecale from the stool of penguins near King Sejong Base, King George Island, Antarctica, while another group isolated Litoreibacter ascidiaceicola from a golden sea squirt in the Sea of Japan.

Further north in the Sea of Japan, in Russia’s Peter the Great Bay, a Japanese team studied sediments on the seashore. In this remote spot in the southeast corner of Russia, they isolated two new species of bacteria, Simiduia litorea and Tamlana sedimentorum.

In the rather more urban environment of Tsukuba Science City, just north of Tokyo, a team of local researchers isolated the acidophilic bacterium Granulicella cerasi from the bark of one of the area’s ubiquitous cherry trees. At the other end of Tokyo, Povalibacter uvarumwas isolated from grapes grown in the region.

More culinarily inclined scientists, meanwhile, investigated Nukadoko, the rice bran mash used around Japan to ferment vegetables for a dish called Nukazuke. They discovered Lactobacillus furfuricola. Unless colonies of Lactobacillus are transferred into Nukazuke from a previous batch of rice mash, they have to grow fresh from fermenting vegetables or even following contact from human hands preparing the mixture.

Rice husks were also the subject of a Korean team’s research, which yielded the discovery of Bacillus oryzaecorticis. Chinese scientists, meanwhile, isolated Enterobacter xiangfangensisfrom traditional sourdough bread in Heilongjiang province in northeastern China. They also suggested the reclassification of Enterobacter sacchari to a different genus, renaming it Kosakonia sacchari.

Closer to home, Spanish researchers isolated Enterococcus olivae from vats of fermenting brine at an olive manufacturing company in Seville province, Spain. In Vienna, Austria, a team of researchers studied a soil sample from one of the Faculty of Ecology’s gardens and isolated a novel archaeon named Nitrososphaera viennensis. This new species is thought to play a major role in the terrestrial nitrogen cycle and has been assigned new phylogenetic class, a very high-level taxonomic rank.

In the spirit of discovery and continued exploration of the tree of life, the Society would like to wish all faithful readers of its blog a very pleasant summer.