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Zoolog Sci. 1997 Aug;14(4):701-6.

groE-homologous operon of Wolbachia, an intracellular symbiont of arthropods: a new approach for their phylogeny.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, University of Tokyo, Japan.


Wolbachia, a member of rickettsia found in the cells of many arthropod species, are cytoplasmically inherited bacteria which interfere with host's sexuality and reproduction. Wolbachia strains have been phylogenetically divided into A and B groups based on the nucleotide sequences of their ftsZ genes. In an attempt to further define the phylogenetical relationship among these endosymbionts, we cloned and sequenced the entire length of the groE operon of a Wolbachia harbored by a cricket. The operon encoded two heat shock proteins, which represented the third and fourth proteins of any Wolbachia ever characterized. Also, 800 bp stretches of the groE operons of several other Wolbachia were sequenced, and a phylogenetic tree was constructed based on the results. The groE tree defined the relationship among A group Wolbachia strains that had not been successfully resolved by the ftsZ tree, and suggested unexpected horizontal transmission of these bacteria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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