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Environ Microbiol. 2005 Feb;7(2):213-24.

Rarity associated with specific ecological niches in the bacterial world: the 'Synergistes' example.

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Laboratoire de Biotechnologie de l'Environnement, INRA, Avenue des Etangs, 11100 Narbonne, France.


The 'Synergistes' group, which apparently represents an as yet unnamed division of the bacteria, was explored in 93 anaerobic environments (guts, soils, digestors, etc.). From 16S rDNA gene-targeted polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays, this group appeared to be present in 90% of the anaerobic microbial ecosystems analysed. The phylogeny of 103 16S rDNA sequences from 30 ecosystems showed a strong link between 16S rDNA sequences and given ecosystems. 'Synergistes' 16S rDNA sequences from animal sources (termites, guinea pigs, pigs, birds, etc.) formed clustered phylogenetical groups. 'Synergistes' groups were also associated either with anaerobic digestors and soils or with thermophilic conditions. Sequences available from the DNA database were consistent with the results. These results show the wide diversity of the 'Synergistes' division as well as the specific ecological niche of each 16S rDNA sequences.

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