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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2015 Aug 15;81(16):5420-9. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01159-15. Epub 2015 Jun 5.

Implications of Genome-Based Discrimination between Clostridium botulinum Group I and Clostridium sporogenes Strains for Bacterial Taxonomy.

Author information

1
School of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
2
School of Biology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
3
Enteric Diseases Laboratory Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
4
School of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA School of Biology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
5
Enteric Diseases Laboratory Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA BRaphael@cdc.gov.

Abstract

Taxonomic classification of Clostridium botulinum is based on the production of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), while closely related, nontoxic organisms are classified as Clostridium sporogenes. However, this taxonomic organization does not accurately mirror phylogenetic relationships between these species. A phylogenetic reconstruction using 2,016 orthologous genes shared among strains of C. botulinum group I and C. sporogenes clearly separated these two species into discrete clades which showed ∼93% average nucleotide identity (ANI) between them. Clustering of strains based on the presence of variable orthologs revealed 143 C. sporogenes clade-specific genetic signatures, a subset of which were further evaluated for their ability to correctly classify a panel of presumptive C. sporogenes strains by PCR. Genome sequencing of several C. sporogenes strains lacking these signatures confirmed that they clustered with C. botulinum strains in a core genome phylogenetic tree. Our analysis also identified C. botulinum strains that contained C. sporogenes clade-specific signatures and phylogenetically clustered with C. sporogenes strains. The genome sequences of two bont/B2-containing strains belonging to the C. sporogenes clade contained regions with similarity to a bont-bearing plasmid (pCLD), while two different strains belonging to the C. botulinum clade carried bont/B2 on the chromosome. These results indicate that bont/B2 was likely acquired by C. sporogenes strains through horizontal gene transfer. The genome-based classification of these species used to identify candidate genes for the development of rapid assays for molecular identification may be applicable to additional bacterial species that are challenging with respect to their classification.

PMID:
26048939
PMCID:
PMC4510194
DOI:
10.1128/AEM.01159-15
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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