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Modestobacter excelsi sp. nov., a novel actinobacterium isolated from a high altitude Atacama Desert soil

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Patrycja Golinska, Dr Maria Del Carmen Montero-CalasanzORCiD, Adnan Yaramis, Professor Alan Bull, Professor Michael Goodfellow



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


© 2019 The Author(s). A polyphasic study was undertaken to establish the taxonomic status of three Modestobacter strains isolated from a high altitude Atacama Desert soil. The isolates, strains 1G6T, 1G14 and 1G50, showed chemotaxonomic and morphological properties characteristic of members of the genus Modestobacter. The peptidoglycan contained meso-diaminopimelic acid, the whole cell sugars were glucose and ribose (diagnostic sugars) and arabinose, the predominant menaquinone was MK-9(H4), polar lipid patterns contained diphosphatidylglycerol, glycophosphatidylinositol, phosphatidylethanolamine (diagnostic component), phosphatidylglycerol and phosphatidylinositol while whole cellular fatty acid profiles consisted of complex mixtures of saturated, unsaturated iso- and anteiso-components. The isolates were shown to have different BOX-PCR fingerprint and physiological profiles. They formed a distinct phyletic line in Modestobacter 16S rRNA gene trees, were most closely related to the type strain of Modestobacter italicus (99.9 % similarity) but were distinguished from this and other closely related Modestobacter type strains using a combination of phenotypic properties. Average nucleotide identity and digital DNA:DNA hybridization similarities between the draft genome sequences of isolate 1G6T and M. italicus BC 501T were 90.9 % and 42.3 %, respectively, indicating that they belong to different species. Based on these phenotypic and genotypic data it is proposed that the isolates be assigned to a novel species in the genus Modestobacter, namely as Modestobacter excelsi with isolate 1G6T (=DSM 107535T =PCM 3004T) as the type strain. Analysis of the whole genome sequence of M. excelsi 1G6T (genome size of 5.26 Mb) showed the presence of genes and gene clusters that encode for properties that are in tune with its adaptation to extreme environmental conditions that prevail in the Atacama Desert biome.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Golinska P, Montero-Calasanz MDC, Swiecimska M, Yaramis A, Igual JM, Bull AT, Goodfellow M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Systematic and Applied Microbiology

Year: 2020

Volume: 43

Issue: 1

Print publication date: 01/01/2020

Online publication date: 23/12/2019

Acceptance date: 16/12/2019

Date deposited: 09/01/2020

ISSN (print): 0723-2020

ISSN (electronic): 1618-0984

Publisher: Elsevier GmbH


DOI: 10.1016/j.syapm.2019.126051


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