Four strains isolated from Indian dairy products and initially identified as Lactobacillus delbrueckii could not be assigned to a definite subspecies because molecular identification and phenotypic traits did not agree with those of recognized subspecies of L. delbrueckii. Hybridization of total DNA (78-86% against type strains of the other three subspecies), AFLP and RAPD-PCR fingerprints, phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences and sequence analysis of two coding genes (recA and hsp60), together with phenotypic profiles, indicated that the four strains form a coherent cluster and represent a novel subspecies, for which the name Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. indicus subsp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is NCC725T (=LMG 22083T=DSM 15996T).
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