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A deep-sea, aerobic, mesophilic, heterotrophic bacterium was isolated from fluid collected near an active hydrothermal vent. On the basis of phenotypic and phylogenetic analyses and DNA-DNA relatedness, strain ST716 could be assigned to the species Alteromonas macleodii as a new subspecies. This bacterium secreted an unusual high-molecular-weight polysaccharide in the presence of glucose in batch cultures. The viscosity of this exopolysaccharide is of the same order of magnitude as that of xanthan, another bacterial polysaccharide of industrial interest. This polysaccharide, produced during the stationary phase, contained glucose, mannose, pyruvated mannose, and galactose along with galacturonic acid and glucuronic acid.