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Int J Food Microbiol. 2009 Dec 31;136(2):152-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2009.02.022. Epub 2009 Mar 4.

Phylogeny and prediction of genetic similarity of Cronobacter and related taxa by multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA).

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Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, CH-3001 Bern, Switzerland.


Multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) based on recN, rpoA and thdF genes was done on more than 30 species of the family Enterobacteriaceae with a focus on Cronobacter and the related genus Enterobacter. The sequences provide valuable data for phylogenetic, taxonomic and diagnostic purposes. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the genus Cronobacter forms a homogenous cluster related to recently described species of Enterobacter, but distant to other species of this genus. Combining sequence information on all three genes is highly representative for the species' %GC-content used as taxonomic marker. Sequence similarity of the three genes and even of recN alone can be used to extrapolate genetic similarities between species of Enterobacteriaceae. Finally, the rpoA gene sequence, which is the easiest one to determine, provides a powerful diagnostic tool to identify and differentiate species of this family. The comparative analysis gives important insights into the phylogeny and genetic relatedness of the family Enterobacteriaceae and will serve as a basis for further studies and clarifications on the taxonomy of this large and heterogeneous family.

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