Akkermansia glycaniphila sp. nov., an anaerobic mucin-degrading bacterium isolated from reticulated python faeces

Janneke P. Ouwerkerk, Steven Aalvink, Clara Belzer, Willem M. de Vos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


A Gram-stain-negative, non-motile, strictly anaerobic, oval-shaped, non-spore-forming bacterium (strain PytT) was isolated from reticulated python faeces. Strain PytT was capable of using mucin as sole carbon, energy and nitrogen source. Cells could grow singly, in pairs, and were also found to aggregate. Scanning electron microscopy revealed the presence of filamentous structures connecting individual bacterial cells. Strain PytT could grow on a limited number of single sugars, including N-acetylglucosamine, N-acetylgalactosamine, glucose, lactose and galactose, but only when a plentiful protein source was provided. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing showed strain PytT to belong to the Verrucomicrobiae class I, family Akkermansiaceae, genus Akkermansia, with Akkermansia muciniphila MucT as the closest relative (94.4% sequence similarity). DNA–DNA hybridization revealed low relatedness of 28.3% with A. muciniphila MucT. The G+C content of DNA from strain PytT was 58.2 mol%. The average nucleotide identity (ANI) of the genome of strain PytT compared to the genome of strain MucT was 79.7 %. Chemotaxonomic data supported the affiliation of strain PytT to the genus Akkermansia. Based on phenotypic, phylogenetic and genetic characteristics, strain PytT represents a novel species of the genus Akkermansia, for which the name Akkermansia glycaniphila sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is PytT (=DSM 100705T=CIP 110913T).

Original languageEnglish
Article number001399
Pages (from-to)4614-4620
JournalInternational Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Anaerobic
  • Faeces
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Most probable number
  • Mucin-degrader
  • Python

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