The generic position of 14 strains of gram-positive bacteria able to use methanol as a growth substrate was determined. All are obligately aerobic, thermotolerant organisms that are able to grow at temperatures of 35 to 60°C. Nine of the strains produce oval spores at a subterminal-to-central position in slightly swollen rod-shaped cells. DNA-DNA hybridization studies, 5S rRNA sequence analysis, and physiological characteristics revealed that all 14 strains cluster as a well-defined group and form a distinct new genospecies. Analysis of the 16S and 5S rRNA sequences indicated that this new species is distinct from Bacillus brevis but closely related to B. firmus and B. azotoformans. The name proposed for this new species is B. methanolicus. The type strain, PB1, has been deposited in the National Collection of Industrial and Marine Bacteria as NCIMB 13113.
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