A Gram-staining-positive, aerobic, non-endospore forming organism, isolated as a seed endophyte (colonizing the internal healthy tissue of plant seed) of sweet corn (Zea mays), strain CSE-5610T, was studied for its taxonomic allocation. On the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequence comparisons, strain CSE-5610T was grouped into the genus Cohnella, most closely related to Cohnella ginsengisoli GR21-5T (98.1%) and 'Cohnella plantaginis' YN-83 (97.5%). The 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity to other members of the genus Cohnella was <96.6%. DNA-DNA hybridization of strain CSE-5610T with C. ginsengisoli DSM 18997T and 'C. plantaginis' DSM 25424 was 58% (reciprocal 24%) and 30% (reciprocal 27%), respectively. The fatty acid profile from whole cell hydrolysates supported the allocation of the strain to the genus Cohnella; iso- and anteiso-branched fatty acids were found as major compounds. meso-Diaminopimelic acid was identified as the cell-wall diamino acid. The quinone system consisted predominantly of menaquinone MK-7. The polar lipid profile was composed of diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylethanolamine, two aminophospholipids, a phospholipid and minor amounts of two polar lipids. In the polyamine pattern, spermidine was the major polyamine. The G+C content of the genomic DNA was 60 mol%. In addition, the results of physiological and biochemical tests also allowed phenotypic differentiation of strain CSE-5610T from the two closely related strains. Hence, CSE-5610T represents a novel species of the genus Cohnella, for which we propose the name Cohnella rhizosphaerae sp. nov., with CSE-5610T (=LMG 28080T=CIP 110695T) as the type strain.
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