Teredinibacter waterburyi sp. nov., a marine, cellulolytic endosymbiotic bacterium isolated from the gills of the wood-boring mollusc Bankia setacea (Bivalvia: Teredinidae) and emended description of the genus Teredinibacter

Marvin A. Altamia, J. Reuben Shipway, David Stein, Meghan A. Betcher, Jennifer M. Fung, Guillaume Jospin, Jonathan Eisen, Margo G. Haygood, Daniel L. Distel

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A cellulolytic, aerobic, gammaproteobacterium, designated strain Bs02T, was isolated from the gills of a marine wood-boring mollusc, Bankia setacea (Bivalvia: Teredinidae). The cells are Gram-stain-negative, slightly curved motile rods (2–5×0.4–0.6 µm) that bear a single polar flagellum and are capable of heterotrophic growth in a simple mineral medium supplemented with cellulose as a sole source of carbon and energy. Cellulose, carboxymethylcellulose, xylan, cellobiose and a variety of sugars also support growth. Strain Bs02T requires combined nitrogen for growth. Temperature, pH and salinity optima (range) for growth were 20 °C (range, 10–30 °C), 8.0 (pH 6.5–8.5) and 0.5 M NaCl (range, 0.0–0.8 M), respectively when grown on 0.5 % (w/v) galactose. Strain Bs02T does not require magnesium and calcium ion concentrations reflecting the proportions found in seawater. The genome size is approximately 4.03 Mbp and the DNA G+C content of the genome is 47.8 mol%. Phylogenetic analyses based on 16S rRNA gene sequences, and on conserved protein-coding sequences, show that strain Bs02T forms a well-supported clade with Teredinibacter turnerae . Average nucleotide identity and percentage of conserved proteins differentiate strain Bs02T from Teredinibacter turnerae at threshold values exceeding those proposed to distinguish bacterial species but not genera. These results indicate that strain Bs02T represents a novel species in the previously monotypic genus Teredinibacter for which the name Teredinibacter waterburyi sp. nov. is proposed. The strain has been deposited under accession numbers ATCC TSD-120T and KCTC 62963T.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology
Early online date20 Feb 2020
Publication statusEarly online - 20 Feb 2020


  • cellulolytic symbiont
  • Teredinibacter
  • bivalve
  • Teredinidae
  • shipworm
  • Bankia setacea


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