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Syst Appl Microbiol. 2012 Feb;35(1):7-18. doi: 10.1016/j.syapm.2011.10.004. Epub 2011 Dec 14.

Taxonomic evaluation of the Streptomyces hygroscopicus clade using multilocus sequence analysis and DNA-DNA hybridization, validating the MLSA scheme for systematics of the whole genus.

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State Key Laboratory of Microbial Resources, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.


Streptomyces hygroscopicus and related species are the most well known candidate producers of antibiotics and many other industrially and agronomically important secondary metabolites in the genus Streptomyces. Multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) has shown to be a powerful and pragmatic molecular method for unraveling streptomycete diversities. In this investigation, a multilocus phylogeny of 58 representatives of the S. hygroscopicus 16S rRNA gene clade including S. violaceusniger and related species was examined. The result demonstrated that the MLSA data were helpful in defining members of the S. hygroscopicus clade, providing further evidence that the MLSA scheme of five housekeeping genes (atpD, gyrB, recA, rpoB and trpB) is a valuable alternative for creating and maintaining operational protocols for the Streptomyces species assignment. DNA-DNA hybridization (DDH) between strains with representative MLSA evolutionary distances, combined with previous data from S. griseus and S. albidoflavus clades, revealed a high correlation between MLSA and DDH, and sustains that the five-gene nucleotide sequence distance of 0.007 could be considered as the species cut-off for the whole genus. This significant correlation thus makes the MLSA scheme applicable to construction of a theory-based taxonomy for both ecology and bioprospecting of streptomycetes. Based on the MLSA and DDH data, as well as phenotypic characteristics, 10 species and three subspecies of the S. hygroscopicus clade are considered to be later heterotypic synonyms of eight genomic species, and Streptomyces glebosus sp. nov., comb. nov. (type strain CGMCC 4.1873(T)=LMG 19950(T)=DSM 40823(T)) and Streptomyces ossamyceticus sp. nov., comb. nov. (type strain CGMCC 4.1866(T)=LMG 19951(T)=DSM 40824(T)) are also proposed.

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