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“ Candidatus Endobugula glebosa,” a Specific Bacterial Symbiont of the Marine Bryozoan Bugula simplex

Citation
Lim et al. (2004). Applied and Environmental Microbiology 70 (8)
Names
Ca. Endobugula glebosa
Subjects
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology Biotechnology Ecology Food Science
Abstract
ABSTRACT The bryozoans Bugula neritina and Bugula simplex harbor bacteria in the pallial sinuses of their larvae as seen by electron microscopy. In B. neritina , the bacterial symbiont has been characterized as a gamma-proteobacterium, “ Candidatus Endobugula sertula.” “ Candidatus E. sertula” has been implicated as the source of the bryostatins, polyketides that provide chemical defense to the host and are also being tested for use in human cancer treatments. In this study, the bacterial symbiont in B. simplex larvae was identified by 16S rRNA-targeted PCR and sequencing as a gamma-proteobacterium closely related to and forming a monophyletic group with “ Candidatus E. sertula.” In a fluorescence in situ hybridization, a 16S ribosomal DNA probe specific to the B. simplex symbiont hybridized to long rod-shaped bacteria in the pallial sinus of a B. simplex larva. The taxonomic status “ Candidatus Endobugula glebosa” is proposed for the B. simplex larval symbiont. Degenerate polyketide synthase (PKS) primers amplified a gene fragment from B. simplex that closely matched a PKS gene fragment from the bryostatin PKS cluster. PCR surveys show that the symbiont and this PKS gene fragment are consistently and uniquely associated with B. simplex . Bryostatin activity assays and chemical analyses of B. simplex extracts reveal the presence of compounds similar to bryostatins. Taken together, these findings demonstrate a symbiosis in B. simplex that is similar and evolutionarily related to that in B. neritina .

‘Candidatus Phytoplasma cynodontis’, the phytoplasma associated with Bermuda grass white leaf disease

Citation
Marcone et al. (2004). International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 54 (4)
Names
Ca. Phytoplasma cynodontis
Subjects
Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics General Medicine Microbiology
Abstract
Bermuda grass white leaf (BGWL) is a destructive, phytoplasmal disease of Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon). The causal pathogen, the BGWL agent, differs from other phytoplasmas that cluster in the same major branch of the phytoplasma phylogenetic clade in <2·5 % of 16S rDNA nucleotide positions, the threshold for assigning species rank to phytoplasmas under the provisional status ‘Candidatus’. Thus, the objective of this work was to examine homogeneity of BGWL isolates and to determine whether there are, in addition to 16S rDNA, other markers that support delineation of the BGWL agent at the putative species level. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the 16S rDNA sequences of BGWL strains were identical or nearly identical. Clear differences that support separation of the BGWL agent from related phytoplasmas were observed within the 16S–23S rDNA spacer sequence, by serological comparisons, in vector transmission and in host-range specificity. From these results, it can be concluded that the BGWL phytoplasma is a discrete taxon at the putative species level, for which the name ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma cynodontis' is proposed. Strain BGWL-C1 was selected as the reference strain. Phytoplasmas that are associated with brachiaria white leaf, carpet grass white leaf and diseases of date palms showed 16S rDNA and/or 16S–23S rDNA spacer sequences that were identical or nearly identical to those of the BGWL phytoplasmas. However, the data available do not seem to be sufficient for a proper taxonomic assignment of these phytoplasmas.

Symbionts of the gut flagellate Staurojoenina sp. from Neotermes cubanus represent a novel, termite-associated lineage of Bacteroidales: description of ‘Candidatus Vestibaculum illigatum’

Citation
Stingl et al. (2004). Microbiology 150 (7)
Names
Ca. Vestibaculum illigatum
Subjects
Microbiology
Abstract
The symbioses between cellulose-degrading flagellates and bacteria are one of the most fascinating phenomena in the complex micro-ecosystem found in the hindgut of lower termites. However, little is known about the identity of the symbionts. One example is the epibiotic bacteria colonizing the surface of hypermastigote protists of the genusStaurojoenina. By using scanning electron microscopy, it was shown that the whole surface ofStaurojoeninasp. from the termiteNeotermes cubanusis densely covered with long rod-shaped bacteria of uniform size and morphology. PCR amplification of 16S rRNA genes from isolated protozoa and subsequent cloning yielded a uniform collection of clones with virtually identical sequences. Phylogenetic analysis placed them as a new lineage among theBacteroidales, only distantly related to other uncultivated bacteria in the hindgut of other termites, including an epibiont of the flagellateMixotricha paradoxa. The closest cultivated relative wasTannerella forsythensis(<85 % sequence identity). Fluorescencein situhybridization with a newly designed clone-specific oligonucleotide probe confirmed that these sequences belong to the rod-shaped epibionts ofStaurojoeninasp. Transmission electron microscopy confirmed the presence of a Gram-negative cell wall and revealed special attachment sites for the symbionts on the cell envelope of the flagellate host. Based on the isolated phylogenetic position and the specific association with the surface ofStaurojoeninasp., we propose to classify this new taxon ofBacteroidalesunder the provisional name ‘CandidatusVestibaculum illigatum’.

‘Candidatus Phytoplasma’, a taxon for the wall-less, non-helical prokaryotes that colonize plant phloem and insects

Citation
The IRPCM Phytoplasma/Spiroplasma Working Team - Phytoplasma taxonomy group, The IRPCM Phytoplasma/Spiroplasma Working Team – Phytoplasma taxonomy group (2004). International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 54 (4)
Names
Ca. Phytoplasma
Subjects
Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics General Medicine Microbiology
Abstract
The trivial name ‘phytoplasma’ has been adopted to collectively name wall-less, non-helical prokaryotes that colonize plant phloem and insects, which were formerly known as mycoplasma-like organisms. Although phytoplasmas have not yet been cultivated in vitro, phylogenetic analyses based on various conserved genes have shown that they represent a distinct, monophyletic clade within the class Mollicutes. It is proposed here to accommodate phytoplasmas within the novel genus ‘Candidatus (Ca.) Phytoplasma’. Given the diversity within ‘Ca. Phytoplasma’, several subtaxa are needed to accommodate organisms that share <97·5 % similarity among their 16S rRNA gene sequences. This report describes the properties of ‘Ca. Phytoplasma’, a taxon that includes the species ‘Ca. Phytoplasma aurantifolia’ (the prokaryote associated with witches'-broom disease of small-fruited acid lime), ‘Ca. Phytoplasma australiense’ (associated with Australian grapevine yellows), ‘Ca. Phytoplasma fraxini’ (associated with ash yellows), ‘Ca. Phytoplasma japonicum’ (associated with Japanese hydrangea phyllody), ‘Ca. Phytoplasma brasiliense’ (associated with hibiscus witches'-broom in Brazil), ‘Ca. Phytoplasma castaneae’ (associated with chestnut witches'-broom in Korea), ‘Ca. Phytoplasma asteris' (associated with aster yellows), ‘Ca. Phytoplasma mali’ (associated with apple proliferation), ‘Ca. Phytoplasma phoenicium’ (associated with almond lethal disease), ‘Ca. Phytoplasma trifolii’ (associated with clover proliferation), ‘Ca. Phytoplasma cynodontis' (associated with Bermuda grass white leaf), ‘Ca. Phytoplasma ziziphi’ (associated with jujube witches'-broom), ‘Ca. Phytoplasma oryzae’ (associated with rice yellow dwarf) and six species-level taxa for which the Candidatus species designation has not yet been formally proposed (for the phytoplasmas associated with X-disease of peach, grapevine flavescence dorée, Central American coconut lethal yellows, Tanzanian lethal decline of coconut, Nigerian lethal decline of coconut and loofah witches'-broom, respectively). Additional species are needed to accommodate organisms that, despite their 16S rRNA gene sequence being >97·5 % similar to those of other ‘Ca. Phytoplasma’ species, are characterized by distinctive biological, phytopathological and genetic properties. These include ‘Ca. Phytoplasma pyri’ (associated with pear decline), ‘Ca. Phytoplasma prunorum’ (associated with European stone fruit yellows), ‘Ca. Phytoplasma spartii’ (associated with spartium witches'-broom), ‘Ca. Phytoplasma rhamni’ (associated with buckthorn witches'-broom), ‘Ca. Phytoplasma allocasuarinae’ (associated with allocasuarina yellows), ‘Ca. Phytoplasma ulmi’ (associated with elm yellows) and an additional taxon for the stolbur phytoplasma. Conversely, some organisms, despite their 16S rRNA gene sequence being <97·5 % similar to that of any other ‘Ca. Phytoplasma’ species, are not presently described as Candidatus species, due to their poor overall characterization.

‘Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris’, a novel phytoplasma taxon associated with aster yellows and related diseases

Citation
Lee et al. (2004). International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 54 (4)
Names
Ca. Phytoplasma asteris
Subjects
Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics General Medicine Microbiology
Abstract
Aster yellows (AY) group (16SrI) phytoplasmas are associated with over 100 economically important diseases worldwide and represent the most diverse and widespread phytoplasma group. Strains that belong to the AY group form a phylogenetically discrete subclade within the phytoplasma clade and are related most closely to the stolbur phytoplasma subclade, based on analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences. AY subclade strains are related more closely to their culturable relatives, Acholeplasma spp., than any other phytoplasmas known. Within the AY subclade, six distinct phylogenetic lineages were revealed. Congruent phylogenies obtained by analyses of tuf gene and ribosomal protein (rp) operon gene sequences further resolved the diversity among AY group phytoplasmas. Distinct phylogenetic lineages were identified by RFLP analysis of 16S rRNA, tuf or rp gene sequences. Ten subgroups were differentiated, based on analysis of rp gene sequences. It is proposed that AY group phytoplasmas represent at least one novel taxon. Strain OAY, which is a member of subgroups 16SrI-B, rpI-B and tufI-B and is associated with evening primrose (Oenothera hookeri) virescence in Michigan, USA, was selected as the reference strain for the novel taxon ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris’. A comprehensive database of diverse AY phytoplasma strains and their geographical distribution is presented.

‘Candidatus Phytoplasma mali’, ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma pyri’ and ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma prunorum’, the causal agents of apple proliferation, pear decline and European stone fruit yellows, respectively

Citation
Seemuller et al. (2004). International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 54 (4)
Names
Ca. Phytoplasma pyri Ca. Phytoplasma prunorum Ca. Phytoplasma mali
Subjects
Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics General Medicine Microbiology
Abstract
Apple proliferation (AP), pear decline (PD) and European stone fruit yellows (ESFY) are among the most economically important plant diseases that are caused by phytoplasmas. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the 16S rDNA sequences of strains of each of these pathogens were identical or nearly identical. Differences between the three phytoplasmas ranged from 1·0 to 1·5 % of nucleotide positions and were thus below the recommended threshold of 2·5 % for assigning species rank to phytoplasmas under the provisional status ‘Candidatus’. However, supporting data for distinguishing the AP, PD and ESFY agents at the species level were obtained by examining other molecular markers, including the 16S–23S rDNA spacer region, protein-encoding genes and randomly cloned DNA fragments. The three phytoplasmas also differed in serological comparisons and showed clear differences in vector transmission and host-range specificity. From these results, it can be concluded that the AP, PD and ESFY phytoplasmas are coherent but discrete taxa that can be distinguished at the putative species level, for which the names ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma mali’, ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma pyri’ and ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma prunorum’, respectively, are proposed. Strains AP15R, PD1R and ESFY-G1R were selected as reference strains. Examination of available data on the peach yellow leaf roll (PYLR) phytoplasma, which clusters with the AP, PD and ESFY agents, confirmed previous results showing that it is related most closely to the PD pathogen. The two phytoplasmas share 99·6 % 16S rDNA sequence similarity. Significant differences were only observed in the sequence of a gene that encodes an immunodominant membrane protein. Until more information on this phytoplasma is available, it is proposed that the PYLR phytoplasma should be regarded as a subtype of ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma pyri’.

‘Candidatus Phytoplasma spartii’, ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma rhamni’ and ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma allocasuarinae’, respectively associated with spartium witches'-broom, buckthorn witches'-broom and allocasuarina yellows diseases

Citation
Marcone et al. (2004). International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 54 (4)
Names
Ca. Phytoplasma spartii Ca. Phytoplasma rhamni Ca. Phytoplasma allocasuarinae
Subjects
Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics General Medicine Microbiology
Abstract
Spartium witches'-broom (SpaWB), buckthorn witches'-broom (BWB) and allocasuarina yellows (AlloY) are witches'-broom and yellows diseases of Spartium junceum (Spanish broom), Rhamnus catharticus (buckthorn) and Allocasuarina muelleriana (Slaty she-oak), respectively. These diseases are associated with distinct phytoplasmas. The SpaWB, BWB and AlloY phytoplasmas share <97·5 % 16S rDNA sequence similarity with each other and with other known phytoplasmas, including the closely related phytoplasmas of the apple proliferation group. Also, the SpaWB, BWB and AlloY phytoplasmas each have a different natural plant host. Based on their unique properties, it is proposed to designate the mentioned phytoplasmas as novel ‘Candidatus’ species under the names ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma spartii’, ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma rhamni’ and ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma allocasuarinae’, respectively.

Clover proliferation phytoplasma: ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma trifolii’

Citation
Hiruki et al. (2004). International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 54 (4)
Names
Ca. Phytoplasma trifolii
Subjects
Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics General Medicine Microbiology
Abstract
Clover proliferation phytoplasma (CPR) is designated as the reference strain for the CP phylogenetic group or subclade, on the basis of molecular analyses of genomic DNA, the 16S rRNA gene and the 16S–23S spacer region. Other strains related to CPR include alfalfa witches'-broom (AWB), brinjal little leaf (BLL), beet leafhopper-transmitted virescence (BLTV), Illinois elm yellows (ILEY), potato witches'-broom (PWB), potato yellows (PY), tomato big bud in California (TBBc) and phytoplasmas from Fragaria multicipita (FM). Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequences of BLL, CPR, FM and ILEY, together with sequences from 16 other phytoplasmas that belong to the ash yellows (AshY), jujube witches'-broom (JWB) and elm yellows (EY) groups that were available in GenBank, produced a tree on which these phytoplasmas clearly clustered as a discrete group. Three subgroups have been classified on the basis of sequence homology and the collective RFLP patterns of amplified 16S rRNA genes. AWB, BLTV, PWB and TBBc are assigned to taxonomic subgroup CP-A, FM belongs to subgroup CP-B and BLL and ILEY are assigned to subgroup CP-C. Genetic heterogeneity between different isolates of AWB, CPR and PWB has been observed from heteroduplex mobility assay analysis of amplified 16S rRNA genes and the 16S–23S spacer region. Two unique signature sequences that can be utilized to distinguish the CP group from others were present. On the basis of unique properties of the DNA from clover proliferation phytoplasma, the name ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma trifolii’ is proposed for the CP group.