Mesonia mobilis

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Higher order taxa

Bacteria; Kingdm Phylum; Bacteroidetes Class; Flavobacteria Order; Flavobacteriales Family; Flavobacteriaceae Genus; Mesonia


Genus species: Mesonia mobilis

Description and significance

Microbial Taxonomy

Mesonia mobilis microbe is gram-negative, rod shape microbe which ranged from 0.4 to 0.5 mm in width and from 1.0 to 2.1 mm in length(3). The microbe produces non-diffusible yellow pigments(3). Gliding motility is observes for the cells of strain KMM 6059T, however, bacteria belonging to the genus Mesonia was described as non-motile(3). The cells of Mesonia mobilis are strictly aerobic and respiratory metabolism. The cells are asporogenic (not producing spores) and chemoorganoheterotrophic (requires organic substrates to get its carbon for growth and development, and produces its energy from oxido-reduction of an organic compound)(3). It is also heterotroph, which means it cannot synthesize its own food and is dependant on complex organic substances for nutrition(3).

The colonies are circular, convex and shiny with entire edges. When grown on marine agar, the colonies are 1-3 mm in diameter(3).

The cells are able to grow in 1-12% NaCl, with the optimal growth being 3-4% NaCl. They have the ability to grow at 4-39◦C with the optimal growth occurring at 28-30◦C. They can also grow between pH levels 6.0-9.5 with the best growth resulting in pH level 7.5(3).

Characteristic Comparison

Mesonia mobilis is a gliding motility bacteria, which was observed in the cells of strain KMM 6059(3). Bacteria belonging to the genus Mesonia were described as non-motile organisms. Due to this discovery, the description of the genus Mesonia is emended(3). Mesonia mobilis also differed from Mesonia algae based on multiple phenotypic features. Besides the ability to move by gliding, the strain KMM 6059 also could grow at 39◦C, produce acid from D-glucose and D-maltose and utilize L-arabinose and D-mannose(3).

Closely Related Species

The 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis showed similarity between KMM 6059 (Mesonia mobilis) and Mesonia algae was 95.8%(3). Mesonia algae is a heterotrophic, aerobic, gram-negative, non-motile and moderately halophilic marine bacteria(2). Mesonia algae was first isolated from the green alga Acrosiphonia sonderi(2). The green alga Mesonia algae was collected on is from the same sea, Sea of Japan, that Mesonia mobilis was collected from in seawater. Both strains were positive in tests for oxidase, catalase and alkaline phosphatase, Na+ requirements for growth with 1-12% NaCl and 4-34◦C, hydrolysis of gelatin and Tween 20, susceptibility to lincomycin and resistance to gentamicin, kanamycin, neomycin, polymyxin C and streptomycin(3). Both strains were also negative in tests for requirement for organic growth factors, b-galactosidase activity, nitrate reduction, flexirubin pigments, indole and acetoin production, degradation of agar, DNA, starch, cellulose (carboxymethylcellulose and filter paper), chitin and urea, acid production from L-arabinose, D-cellobiose, L-fucose, D-galactose, D-lactose, L-raffinose, D-melibiose, L-rhamnose, sucrose, L-sorbose, adonitol, dulcitol, glycerol, inositol, mannitol, malate, fumarate and citrate and utilization of D-lactose, sucrose, adonitol, dulcitol, inositol, mannitol, sorbitol, malonate and citrate(3). Mesonia mobilis and Mesonia algae are both gram-negative, aerobic, yellow-pigmented bacterium, and predominant cellular fatty acids were both straight-chain unsaturated, branched-chain unsaturated and saturated, namely iso-C15 : 0, anteiso-C15 : 0, C15 : 0, iso-C15 : 1, C16 : 1v7, iso-C17 : 1 and iso-C15 : 0 2-OH(3). The only major difference between Mesonia mobilis and Mesonia algae was the fact that Mesonia mobilis is gliding motile while Mesonia Algae is non-motile.

Habitat and Adaption

Mesonia mobilis lives in seawater. It was first obtained from seawater in Troitsa Bay, Gulf of Peter the Great, East Sea(3). This sea is also known as the Sea of Japan. Mesonia mobilis lives in a marine habitat. Mesonia Algae was also isolated from alga found in the Sea of Japan(2). The oceans bare many different kinds of extreme environments. Marine microbes had to adapt to thrive in these conditions by either changing their biochemistry to handle the conditions or by building barriers to keep the harsh conditions out of their cells(1).

Study Purpose

In June of 2000 researchers isolated an unknown bacterial strain which was labeled as KMM 6059, collected from seawater(3). Genomic DNA extraction, PCR, and sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene were all used to identify the microbe. To establish the accurate taxonomic location of strain KMM 6059, 1434 nt of its 16S rRNA gene sequence was determined(3). 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis specified that strain KMM 6059 was part of the Flavobacteriaceae family and characterized as a member of the genus Mesonia(3). The goal of this study was to identify the strain KMM 6059 found in the Sea of Japan and then to compare its test results with the results of the very similar genus, Mesonia algae. This study resulted in the emendation of the genus Mesonia(3).


(1) Jennie Hunter-Cevera, David Karl, and Merry Buckley. “Marine Microbial Diversity: The Key To Earth’s Habitality”. “American Academy of Microbiology”. 2005. p. 1-22.

(2) Nedashkovskaya, O. I., Kim, S. B., Han, S. K. & 7 other authors. “Mesonia algae gen. nov., sp. nov., a novel marine bacterium of the family Flavobacteriaceae isolated from the green alga Acrosiphonia sonderi (Ku¨tz) Kornm”. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 2003. Volume 53. p. 1967-1971.

(3) Nedashkovskaya, Seung Bum Kim, Natalia V. Zhukova, Jangryul Kwak, Valery V. Mikhailov, and Kyung Sook Bae. “Mesonia mobilis sp. nov., isolated from seawater, and emended description of the genus Mesonia”. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 2006. Volume 56. p. 2433–2436.

Edited by Keri Moschinger, student of Rachel Larsen at the University of Southern Maine