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Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2017 Aug;67(8):2711-2719. doi: 10.1099/ijsem.0.002008.

Proposal for the reclassification of obligately purine-fermenting bacteria Clostridium acidurici (Barker 1938) and Clostridium purinilyticum (Dürre et al. 1981) as Gottschalkia acidurici gen. nov. comb. nov. and Gottschalkiapurinilytica comb. nov. and of Eubacterium angustum (Beuscher and Andreesen 1985) as Andreesenia angusta gen. nov. comb. nov. in the family Gottschalkiaceae fam. nov.

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Department of Genomic and Applied Microbiology and Göttingen Genomics Laboratory, Institute of Microbiology and Genetics, Georg-August-University, Göttingen, Germany.
National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20894, USA.


Several strictly anaerobic bacteria that are Gram-stain-positive have the ability to use uric acid as the sole source of carbon and energy. The phylogeny of three such species, Clostridium acidurici, Clostridium purinilyticum, and Eubacterium angustum, members of the Clostridium cluster XII that ferment purines, but not most amino acids or carbohydrates, has been re-examined, taking advantage of their recently sequenced genomes. Phylogenetic analyses, based on 16S rRNA gene sequences, protein sequences of RpoB and GyrB, and on a concatenated alignment of 50 ribosomal proteins, revealed tight clustering of C. acidurici and C. purinilyticum. Eubacterium angustum showed consistent association with C. acidurici and C. purinilyticum , but differed from these two in terms of the genome size, G+C content of its chromosomal DNA and its inability to form spores. We propose reassigning C. acidurici and C. purinilyticum to the novel genus Gottschalkia as Gottschalkia acidurici gen. nov. comb. nov. (the type species of the genus) and Gottschalkia purinilytica comb. nov., respectively. Eubacterium angustum is proposed to be reclassified as Andreesenia angusta gen. nov. comb. nov. Furthermore, based on the phylogenetic data and similar metabolic properties, we propose assigning genera Gottschalkia and Andreesenia to the novel family Gottschalkiaceae. Metagenomic sequencing data indicate the widespread distibution of organisms falling within the radiation of the proposed family Gottschalkiaceae in terrestrial and aquatic habitats from upstate New York to Antarctica, most likely due to their ability to metabolize avian-produced uric acid.

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