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J Evol Biol. 2003 Nov;16(6):1236-48.

A molecular phylogeny of enteric bacteria and implications for a bacterial species concept.

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Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511, USA.


A molecular phylogeny for seven taxa of enteric bacteria (Citrobacter freundii, Enterobacter cloacae, Escherichia coli, Hafnia alvei, Klebsiella oxytoca, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Serratia plymuthica) was made from multiple isolates per taxa taken from a collection of environmental enteric bacteria. Sequences from five housekeeping genes (gapA, groEL, gyrA, ompA, and pgi) and the 16S rRNA gene were used to infer individual gene trees and were concatenated to infer a composite molecular phylogeny for the species. The isolates from each taxa formed tight species clusters in the individual gene trees, suggesting the existence of 'genotypic' clusters that correspond to traditional species designations. These sequence data and the resulting gene trees and consensus tree provide the first data set with which to assess the utility of the recently proposed core genome hypothesis (CGH). The CGH provides a genetically based approach to applying the biological species concept to bacteria.

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