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Int J Syst Bacteriol. 1998 Jan;48 Pt 1:1-12.

Revised group classification of the genus Spiroplasma.

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  • 1Department of Anatomical Sciences, State University of New York, Stony Brook 11794-8081, USA.


Significant changes have been made in the systematics of the genus Spiroplasma (class Mollicutes) since it was expanded by revision in 1987 to include 23 groups and eight sub-groups. Since that time, two additional spiroplasmas have been assigned group numbers and species names. More recently, specific epithets have been assigned to nine previously designated groups and three sub-groups. Also, taxonomic descriptions and species names have been published for six previously ungrouped spiroplasmas. These six new organisms are: Spiroplasma alleghenense (strain PLHS-1T) (group XXVI), Spiroplasma lineolae (strain TALS-2T) (group XXVII), Spiroplasma platyhelix (strain PALS-1T) (group XXVIII), Spiroplasma montanense (strain HYOS-1T) (group XXXI), Spiroplasma helicoides (strain TABS-2T) (group XXXII) and Spiroplasma tabanidicola (strain TAUS-1T) (group XXXIII). Also, group XVII, which became vacant when strain DF-1T (Spiroplasma chrysopicola) was transferred to group VIII, has been filled with strain Tab 4c. The discovery of these strains reflects continuing primary search in insect reservoirs, particularly horse flies and deer files (Diptera: Tabanidae). In the current revision, new group designations for 10 spiroplasma strains, including six recently named organisms, are proposed. Three unnamed but newly grouped spiroplasmas are strain TIUS-1 (group XXIX; ATCC 51751) from a typhiid wasp (Hymenoptera: Tiphiidae), strain BIUS-1 (group XXX; ATCC 51750) from floral surfaces of the tickseed sunflower (Bidens sp.) and strain BARC 1901 (group XXXIV; ATCC 700283). Strain BARC 2649 (ATCC 700284) from Tabanus lineola has been proposed as a new sub-group of group VIII. Strains TIUS-1 and BIUS-1 have unusual morphologies, appearing as helices at only certain stages in culture. In this revision, potentially important intergroup serological relationships observed between strain DW-1 (group II) from a neotropical Drosophila species and certain sub-group representatives of group I spiroplasmas are also reported.

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