Should ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma’ be retained within the order Acholeplasmatales?

Zhao et al. (2015). International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 65 (Pt_3)
Names (1)
Ca. Phytoplasma
Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics General Medicine Microbiology
Phytoplasmas are a diverse but phylogenetically coherent group of cell-wall-less bacteria affiliated with the class Mollicutes . Due to difficulties in establishing axenic culture, phytoplasmas were assigned to a provisional genus, ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma’, and the genus was embraced within the order Acholeplasmatales . However, phytoplasmas differ significantly from species of the genus Acholeplasma in their habitat specificities, modes of life, metabolic capabilities, genomic architectures, and phylogenetic positions. This communication describes the unique ecological, nutritional, biochemical, genomic and phylogenetic properties that distinguish phytoplasmas from species of the genus Acholeplasma and all other taxa in the class Mollicutes . Since such distinguishing properties of the phytoplasmas are not referable to the descriptions of the order Acholeplasmatales and of all other existing orders, namely Mycoplasmatales , Entomoplasmatales and Anaeroplasmatales , this communication raises the question of whether ‘ Candidatus Phytoplasma ’ should be retained in the order Acholeplasmatales or whether a novel provisional order and family should be created to accommodate the genus ‘ Ca. Phytoplasma ’.
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