Kocuria tytonicola, new bacteria from the preen glands of American barn owls (Tyto furcata).

Markus Santhosh Braun, Erjia Wang, Stefan Zimmermann, Sébastien Boutin, Hermann Wagner, Michael Wink


Although birds are hosts to a large number of microorganisms, microbes have rarely been found in avian oil glands. Here, we report on two strains of a new bacterial species from the preen oil of American barn owls (Tyto furcata). Phenotypic as well as genotypic methods placed the isolates to the genus Kocuria. Strains are non-fastidious, non-lipophilic Gram-positive cocci and can be unambiguously discriminated from their closest relative Kocuria rhizophila DSM 11926(T). In phylogenetic trees, the owl bacteria formed a distinct cluster which was clearly separated from all other known Kocuria species. The same conclusion was drawn from MALDI-TOF MS analyses. Once again, the new bacterial strains were very similar to one another, but exhibited substantial differences when compared to the most closely related species. Besides, the results of the biochemical tests, optimum growth conditions and pigmentation differed from closely related Kocuria spp. Finally, ANIb values of less than 87 for which we propose the name Kocuria tytonicola sp. nov. The type strain is 489(T) (DSM 104133(T)=LMG 29945(T), taxonumber TA00340).
Original languageEnglish
JournalSystematic and Applied Microbiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01.03.2019


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