New to science: December 2013

Posted on December 10, 2013   by Benjamin Thompson

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.

We’re big fans of Christmas here at the Society. We’re also big fans of shoehorning puns into articles at any cost. So if you’re a Wise Man looking for a gift, and gold and myrrh are already taken, perhaps you should pick up some Corynebacterium frankenforstense. Being in a manger might even help you out, as this new species was isolated from raw cow’s milk, by researchers in Germany. Members of the Corynebacterium genus contain several pathogens that can cause mastitis in farm animals and humans.

Also isolated from milk this month is Alloscardovia macacae, although this milk comes from a slightly more exotic source: a rhesus macaque monkey. Researchers from the Czech Republic discovered the new species living in a milk sample taken from a monkey born in captivity in the Central Bohemian Region of the country.

Another genus of bacteria, Lactobacillus, is well known for residing in milk. This month, however, they’ve been found somewhere very different. Researchers from Finland, South Africa and Japan have discovered three strains of the new species Lactobacillus faecis, in jackal and raccoon faeces, while investigating the Lactobacillus microbiome of different animals.

Another place that’s been popular for microbial discovery this month is animal guts. A group of researchers in Korea have isolated Enterococcus diestrammenae from a camel cricket, while another has found Pseudoruegeria haliotis living in the intestines of an abalone collected on the northern coast of Jeju Island, South Korea.

Across the Yellow Sea, researchers in China have discovered Flaviramulus ichthyoenteri, a rod-shaped bacterium living in the intestine of a flounder in a fish farm in the Shandong Province of the country. This new species represents only the second member of the Flaviramulus genus, the other being F. basaltis, isolated from basalt on the seabed.

Last (but certainly not least) in this bowel bonanza, a group of scientists from Germany, Holland and Scotland have isolated Intestinimonas butyriciproducens from the intestines of a mouse.

Finally this month, Chryseobacterium angstadtii was isolated from the swab of a biofilm submerged in a newt tank. The rod-shaped bacterium was discovered as part of an undergraduate practical class at Lycoming College, USA.

These are just a few of the new species described this month; you can see the full list at IJSEM. We’ll be back again next month with a host of new ones; look out for us then!