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Int J Syst Bacteriol. 1999 Apr;49 Pt 2:483-8.

The phylogenetic relationships of Caulobacter, Asticcacaulis and Brevundimonas species and their taxonomic implications.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.


The phylogenetic relationships among the species of Caulobacter, Asticcacaulis and Brevundimonas were studied by comparison of their 16S rDNA sequences. The analysis of almost complete sequences confirmed the early evolutionary divergence of the freshwater and marine species of Caulobacter reported previously [Stahl, D. A., Key, R., Flesher, B. & Smit, J. (1992). J Bacteriol 174, 2193-2198]. The freshwater species formed two distinct clusters. One cluster contained the species Caulobacter bacteroides, Caulobacter crescentus, Caulobacter fusiformis and Caulobacter henricii. C. bacteroides and C. fusiformis are very closely related (sequence identity 99.8%). The second cluster was not exclusive and contained the specis Caulobacter intermedius, Caulobacter subvibrioides and Caulobacter variabilis, as well as Brevundimonas diminuta and Brevundimonas vesicularis. The marine species Caulobacter halobacteroides and Caulobacter maris were very closely related, with a sequence identity of 99.7%. These two species were most closely but distantly related to the marine hyphal/budding bacteria Hyphomonas jannaschiana and Hirschia baltica, which formed a deep phylogenetic line with Rhodobacter sphaeroides and Rhodobacter capsulatus. Caulobacter leidyia is unrelated to the other species of Caulobacter and belongs to the alpha-4 subclass of the Proteobacteria, forming a distinct cluster with Asticcacaulis excentricus and Asticcacaulis biprosthecium. The taxonomic implications of the polyphyletic nature of the genus Caulobacter and the absence of a type culture for the type species of the genus Caulobacter vibrioides, are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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