A team of South Korean scientists has discovered a pair of hitherto unknown bacteria near King Sejong Station, the state-funded research institute in the Antarctic.
The team, co-headed by Seoul National University professor Chun Jong-sik and Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute researcher Yoon Ho-il, said Sunday they had isolated two aerobic bacterial strains from terrestrial samples from the Antarctic region.
The newly found bacteria are yellow-pigmented and gram-negative strains that should be recognized as two separate species, Chun said.
The new microbes, named Sejongia jeonnii and Sejongia antarctica, gained global recognition early this month after being registered with the International Journal of Systemic and Evolutionary Microbiology.
This is the first time that South Korean scientists have discovered bacteria in the Antarctic and obtained the recognition of a world-renowned journal.
Sejongia antarctica was named after King Sejong Station, where the species was isolated, and its geographic origin of Antarctica. Sejongia jeonnii was named in honor of the late Jeon Jae-gyu, who devoted his life to polar research, Chun explained.