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Int J Syst Bacteriol. 1997 Jul;47(3):837-41.

Phylogenetic relationship of the twenty-one DNA groups of the genus Acinetobacter as revealed by 16S ribosomal DNA sequence analysis.

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Department of Clinical Microbiology, Statens Seruminstitut, Copenhagen, Denmark.


The inter- and intrageneric relationships of members of the genus Acinetobacter were investigated by performing a comparative sequence analysis of PCR-amplified 16S ribosomal DNAs (rDNAs) from 21 strains representing all of the DNA groups that have been described. Phylogenetic treeing confirmed that Acinetobacter spp. form a coherent cluster within the gamma subdivision of the class Proteobacteria that includes strains with overall levels of 16S rDNA sequence similarity of more than 94%. The analysis of intrageneric relationships suggested that the majority of the strains cluster in five clearly distinguishable clusters, and this conclusion was supported by the results obtained with the different methods used for phylogenetic analysis (i.e., the maximum-likelihood, parsimony, and distance matrix methods). The first cluster contains the representatives of DNA groups 2 (Acinetobacter baumannii) and TU13, whereas the second cluster comprises representatives of DNA groups 3, "Close To TU13," and "between 1 and 3." The representatives of closely related Acinetobacter DNA groups 8 (Acinetobacter twoffii) and 9 belong to the third cluster, which includes the representative of DNA group 6 as well. The fourth cluster is formed by DNA groups BJ15, BJ16, and BJ17, and the fifth cluster comprises DNA groups 1 (Acinetobacter calcoaceticus), BJ14, 10, and 11. Within the fifth cluster the 16S rDNA sequences of DNA group 10 and 11 strains are nearly identical. The representatives of DNA groups 4 (Acinetobacter haemolyticus), 5 (Acinetobacter junii), 7 (Acinetobacter johnsonii), 12 (Acinetobacter radioresistens), TU14, and TU15 form individual branches that are not significantly affiliated with any of the five clusters identified. Apart from the clustering of the most closely related DNA groups, the general topology of the distance dendrogram revealed some discrepancy with previous DNA-DNA hybridization data, which may point to the inadequacy of comparative 16S rDNA sequence analysis for reflecting true evolutionary relationships of closely related bacterial taxa. Important, however, was the presence of unique sequence motifs in each of the 21 different DNA groups studied, which may be useful for rapid differentiation of DNA groups of the genus Acinetobacter.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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