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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

An alternative to the accepted phylogeny of purple bacteria based on 16S rRNA: analyses of the amino acid sequences of cytochromes C2 and C556 from Rhodobacter (Rhodovulum) sulfidophilus.

It is becoming increasingly apparent from complete genome sequences that 16S rRNA data, as currently interpreted, does not provide an unambiguous picture of bacterial phylogeny. In contrast, we have found that analysis of insertions and deletions in the amino acid sequences of cytochrome c2 has some advantages in establishing relationships and that this approach may have broad utility in acquiring a better understanding of bacterial relationships. The amino acid sequences of cytochromes c2 and c556 have been determined in whole or in part from four strains of Rhodobacter sulfidophilus. The cytochrome c2 contains three- and eight-residue insertions as well as a single-residue deletion in common with the large cytochromes c2 but in contrast to the small cytochromes c2 and mitochondrial cytochromes. In addition, the Rb. sulfidophilus protein shares a rare six- to seven-residue insertion with other Rhodobacter cytochromes c2. The cytochrome c556 is a low-spin class II cytochrome c homologous to the greater family of cytochromes c', which are usually high-spin. The similarity of cytochrome c556 to other species of class II cytochromes is consistent with the relationships deduced from comparisons of cytochromes c2. Thus, our results do not support placement of Rb. sulfidophilus in a separate genus, Rhodovulum, which was proposed primarily on the basis of 16S rRNA sequences. Instead, the Rhodobacter cytochromes c2 are distinct from those of other genera and species of purple bacteria and show a different pattern of relationships among species than reported for 16S rRNA.[1]


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