A motile, rod-shaped and yellow coloured proteobacterium, designated strain SYSU D60017T, was isolated from a desert soil sample. The bacterium was found to be an obligately aerobic, mesophilic and neutrophilic chemo-heterotroph. Cells were observed to be Gram-stain negative, catalase positive and oxidase positive. The major cellular fatty acids were identified as C19:0ω8c cyclo and Summed Feature 8 (C18:1ω7c and/or C18:1ω6c). The main respiratory quinone identified was ubiquinone-10. The DNA G + C content was determined to be 63.8% based on draft genome sequence data. The polar lipids detected were identified as diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylglycerol and five unidentified polar lipids. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that strain SYSU D60017T is a member of the order Rhizobiales, but forms a distinct phylogenetic lineage. The differences in the phenotypic characteristics from members of related genera and its distinct phylogenetic position suggested that the isolate SYSU D60017T represents a novel species of a novel genus within the order Rhizobiales, for which the name Flaviflagellibacter deserti gen. nov., sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain of the new taxon is SYSU D60017T (= CGMCC 1.16444T = NBRC 112958T).