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Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2004 May;54(Pt 3):919-24.

Use of recA as an alternative phylogenetic marker in the family Vibrionaceae.

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Laboratory for Microbiology, Ghent University, K. L. Ledeganckstraat 35, Ghent 9000, Belgium.


This study analysed the usefulness of recA gene sequences as an alternative phylogenetic and/or identification marker for vibrios. The recA sequences suggest that the genus Vibrio is polyphyletic. The high heterogeneity observed within vibrios was congruent with former polyphasic taxonomic studies on this group. Photobacterium species clustered together and apparently nested within vibrios, while Grimontia hollisae was apart from other vibrios. Within the vibrios, Vibrio cholerae and Vibrio mimicus clustered apart from the other genus members. Vibrio harveyi- and Vibrio splendidus-related species formed compact separated groups. On the other hand, species related to Vibrio tubiashii appeared scattered in the phylogenetic tree. The pairs Vibrio coralliilyticus and Vibrio neptunius, Vibrio nereis and Vibrio xuii and V. tubiashii and Vibrio brasiliensis clustered completely apart from each other. There was a correlation of 0.58 between recA and 16S rDNA pairwise similarities. Strains of the same species have at least 94 % recA sequence similarity. recA gene sequences are much more discriminatory than 16S rDNA. For 16S rDNA similarity values above 98 % there was a wide range of recA similarities, from 83 to 99 %.

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