New to science: May 2016

Posted on May 31, 2016   by Anand Jagatia

Each month, the Microbiology Society publishes the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (IJSEM), 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.

Let’s kick off this month’s post with something old. The tree Ginkgo biloba is sometimes described as a living fossil, as it is the only surviving member of its phylum and has been found in fossils dating back 270 million years. A team of microbiologists from China have isolated a brand new species of bacteria from its roots, which they name Nocardiodes ginkgobilobae.

Elsewhereresearchers from the US and Peru have isolated a new species of bacteria from an individual living in a traditional Peruvian coastal community. Peptoniphilus catoniae was isolated from a human faecal sample during a study to examine the microbiomes of indigenous communities.

A couple of interesting finds inside insects this month – Sphingobacterium griseoflavum is a novel bacterium isolated from a cricket living in deserted cropland in China. And Spathaspora allomyrinae is a yeast species found in the gut of a scarabaeid beetle by another Chinese team.

The red fox, Vulpes vulpes, is the source of another novel species discovered by a European team of researchers. The team isolated the bacterium Brucella vulpis from the mandibular lymph nodes of red foxes. The species joins the founding member of its genus, B. microti, which was isolated from the common vole.

Lastly, a team from China report a novel bacterium discovered in an abandoned lead-zinc mine. They name the species Sphingomonas metalliafter where it was found.


Image credit: Peter Trimming on Flickr under CC BY 2.0