New to science: October 2016

Posted on November 4, 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.

Here’s a quick roundup of some of our favourites from the latest issue. If you have a read online, you’ll see that our platform has been updated! You can now find out more information about the nomenclature, strain information and taxonomy of different microbes by clicking on the species or genus name (data from Names for Life).

First off for this month, a team of researchers have isolated a new actinobacterium from limestone cliffs in the Sahara desert. Geodermatophilus pulveris is resistant to gamma radiation, joining other members of its genus as a species that can cope with environmental stresses. A related species, Geodermatophilus obscurus, is thought to achieve this via mechanisms like pigmentation and catalase production.

Guiyu, China is often described as the ‘e-waste capital of the world’, and is heavily contaminated with heavy metals and other chemicals from old mobile phones and other electronics. Microbiologists from China have discovered a new species of bacterium in sediment from a river in Guiyu, which they name Sphingobium hydrophobicumElsewhere in the country, another team has isolated the heavy metal-resistant bacterium Mucilaginibacter pedocola from a contaminated paddy field.

There are some great finds from the animal world this month. Scientists from India have isolated a new lactic acid bacterium from the dung of the Indian bison, called Lactococcus. garvieae subsp. bovis. Researchers in Australia have discovered a novel bacterial species in the oral cavities of marsupials. They propose the name Porphyromonas loveanaand have so far found it living in brushtail possums, koalas, kangaroos and wallabies. And a team of researchers from Japan have isolated the species Streptococcus dentiloxodontae from the oral cavities of elephants.

Clavibacter michiganeneis contains six subspecies that cause disease in plants, such as ring rot disease in potatoes and wilt disease in corn. Microbiologists from Korea have discovered a seventh: C. michiganeneis subsp. capsici, which infects peppers with bacterial canker disease.

And finally for this month, researchers in China have isolated the aptly named Paraburkholderia caffeinilytica from the soil of a tea plantation.

The full papers describing these species are available to journal subscribers, but the abstracts are free to read. Articles can also purchased individually with the pay-per-view option.