Two bacterial strains (JC167T and JC168) were isolated from a soil sample collected from Mandpam, Tamilnadu, India. Colonies of both strains were orange and cells Gram-stain-positive. Cells were small rods, and formed terminal endospores of ellipsoidal to oval shape. Both strains were positive for catalase, oxidase and hydrolysis of starch/gelatin, and negative for chitin hydrolysis, H2S production, indole production and nitrate reduction activity. Major fatty acids of both strains (>5%) were anteiso-C15:0, iso-C16:0, iso-C15:0, anteiso-C17:0, iso-C14:0 and C16:0 with minor (<5 but >1%) amounts of iso-C17:0, anteiso-C17:0 B/iso-C17:0 I and C16:1ω11c. Diphosphatydilglycerol, phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylglycerol were the major polar lipids of both strains. Cell wall amino acids were L-alanine, D-alanine, D-glutamic acid and meso-diaminopimelic acid. β-Carotene and five unidentified carotenoids were present in both strains. Mean genomic DNA G+C content was 53.4±1 mol% and the two strains were closely related (mean DNA-DNA hybridization>90%). 16S rRNA gene sequence comparisons of both strains indicated that they represent species of the genus Bacillus within the family Bacillaceae of the phylum Firmicutes. Both strains had a sequence similarity of 97.6% with Bacillus saliphilus 6AGT and <96.8% with other members of the genus Bacillus. Sequence similarity between strain JC167T and 168 was 100%. Strain JC167T showed 25.8±1% reassociation (based on DNA-DNA hybridization) with B. saliphilus DSM 15402T (=6AGT). Distinct morphological, physiological and genotypic differences from previously described taxa support the classification of strain JC167T as a representative of a novel species of the genus Bacillus, for which the name Bacillus luteus sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is JC167T (=KCTC 33100T=LMG 27257T).