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Int J Med Microbiol. 2003 Feb;292(7-8):495-503.

Sequencing of 16S rDNA of Klebsiella: taxonomic relations within the genus and to other Enterobacteriaceae.

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Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark.


The 16S rDNAs of 20 strains of Klebsiella were sequenced and used for construction of a phylogenetic tree together with already published Enterobacteriaceae 16S rDNA sequences. The taxonomy within the Klebsiella genus, as reflected by the 16S rDNA tree, was in agreement with existing DNA-DNA hybridisation and numerical taxonomy data, indicating that for Klebsiella, 16S rDNA sequencing is a valid method for identification and taxonomical purposes. Five closely related clusters were found in the Klebsiella genus; Cluster I, K. oxytoca; Cluster II, K. terrigena, Cluster III, K. planticola and K. ornithinolytica; Cluster IV, Enterobacter aerogenes (K. mobilis); and Cluster V, K. pneumoniae. The position of Calymmatobacterium granulomatis within the genus and closest to K. pneumoniae was confirmed. For the species K. oxytoca, data seem to indicate a subdivision into two subspecies. In addition, a biochemically aberrant Klebsiella strain (BEC441) that was included in the analysis could not be assigned to any of the known species, but was found to be closest related to K. oxytoca. Furthermore, the high sequence similarity between the two environmental species K. planticola and K. ornithinolytica does not justify a distinction of the two species. Finally, within a 165-bp stretch of the 16S rDNA sequences, species-specific nucleotides were found.

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