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Curr Microbiol. 2013 Jul;67(1):51-60. doi: 10.1007/s00284-013-0330-9. Epub 2013 Feb 13.

Phylogenetic analysis of burkholderia species by multilocus sequence analysis.

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Centro de Ciencias Genómicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ap. Postal 565-A, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico.


Burkholderia comprises more than 60 species of environmental, clinical, and agro-biotechnological relevance. Previous phylogenetic analyses of 16S rRNA, recA, gyrB, rpoB, and acdS gene sequences as well as genome sequence comparisons of different Burkholderia species have revealed two major species clusters. In this study, we undertook a multilocus sequence analysis of 77 type and reference strains of Burkholderia using atpD, gltB, lepA, and recA genes in combination with the 16S rRNA gene sequence and employed maximum likelihood and neighbor-joining criteria to test this further. The phylogenetic analysis revealed, with high supporting values, distinct lineages within the genus Burkholderia. The two large groups were named A and B, whereas the B. rhizoxinica/B. endofungorum, and B. andropogonis groups consisted of two and one species, respectively. The group A encompasses several plant-associated and saprophytic bacterial species. The group B comprises the B. cepacia complex (opportunistic human pathogens), the B. pseudomallei subgroup, which includes both human and animal pathogens, and an assemblage of plant pathogenic species. The distinct lineages present in Burkholderia suggest that each group might represent a different genus. However, it will be necessary to analyze the full set of Burkholderia species and explore whether enough phenotypic features exist among the different clusters to propose that these groups should be considered separate genera.

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