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Unknown bacterium isolated from garlic was characterized using phenotypic methods, phylogenetic analysis, DNA DNA hybridization, and cultural methods. The strain was identified as typical leuconostoc; Gram-positive, non-sporeforming, heterofermentative, catalase-negative, and spherical. Although its 16S rRNA gene sequence showed high homology to Leuconostoc argentinum DSM 8581T(99.8%), DNA DNA hybridization experiments indicated it represents novel genomic species in the genus Leuconostoc. The garlic-specific leuconostoc was more resistant to antimicrobial activity of garlic compared to other common laboratory lactic acid bacteria, and was even stimulated by low concentrations (1-2%) of garlic extract supplemented in trypticase soy broth. Growth stimulation was concentration-dependent when tested with residual aqueous layer after solvent extraction of fresh whole garlic extract.