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

16S ribosomal RNA sequence analysis for determination of phylogenetic relationship among methylotrophs.

16S ribosomal RNAs (rRNA) of 12 methylotrophic bacteria have been almost completely sequenced to establish their phylogenetic relationships. Methylotrophs that are physiologically related are phylogenetically diverse and are scattered among the purple eubacteria (class Proteobacteria). Group I methylotrophs can be classified in the beta- and the gamma-subdivisions and group II methylotrophs in the alpha-subdivision of the purple eubacteria, respectively. Pink-pigmented facultative and non-pigmented obligate group II methylotrophs form two distinctly separate branches within the alpha-subdivision. The secondary structures of the 16S rRNA sequences of 'Methylocystis parvus' strain OBBP, 'Methylosinus trichosporium' strain OB3b, 'Methylosporovibrio methanica' strain 81Z and Hyphomicrobium sp. strain DM2 are similar, and these non-pigmented obligate group II methylotrophs form one tight cluster in the alpha-subdivision. The pink-pigmented facultative methylotrophs, Methylobacterium extorquens strain AM1, Methylobacterium sp. strain DM4 and Methylobacterium organophilum strain XX form another cluster within the alpha-subdivision. Although similar in phenotypic characteristics, Methylobacterium organophilum strain XX and Methylobacterium extorquens strain AM1 are clearly distinguishable by their 16S rRNA sequences. The group I methylotrophs, Methylophilus methylotrophus strain AS1 and methylotrophic species DM11, which do not utilize methane, are similar in 16S rRNA sequence to bacteria in the beta-subdivision. The methane-utilizing, obligate group I methanotrophs, Methylococcus capsulatus strain BATH and Methylomonas methanica, are placed in the gamma-subdivision. The results demonstrate that it is possible to distinguish and classify the methylotrophic bacteria using 16S rRNA sequence analysis.[1]


  1. 16S ribosomal RNA sequence analysis for determination of phylogenetic relationship among methylotrophs. Tsuji, K., Tsien, H.C., Hanson, R.S., DePalma, S.R., Scholtz, R., LaRoche, S. J. Gen. Microbiol. (1990) [Pubmed]
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