Previously, analysis of 16S rDNA sequences placed a newly discovered lineage of bacterial symbionts of arthropods in the ‘Bacteroidetes’. This symbiont lineage is associated with a number of diverse host reproductive manipulations, including induction of parthenogenesis in severalEncarsiaparasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae). In this study, electron microscopy and phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA andgyrBgenes of symbionts fromEncarsia hispidaandEncarsia pergandiellaare used to describe and further characterize these bacteria. Phylogenetic analyses based on these two genes showed that theEncarsiasymbionts are allied with theCytophaga aurantiacalineage within the ‘Bacteroidetes’, with their closest described relative being the acanthamoeba symbiont ‘CandidatusAmoebophilus asiaticus’. TheEncarsiasymbionts share 97 % 16S rDNA sequence similarity withBrevipalpusmite andIxodestick symbionts and 88 % sequence similarity with ‘CandidatusA. asiaticus’. Electron microscopy revealed that many of the bacteria found in the ovaries of the twoEncarsiaspecies contained a regular, brush-like array of microfilament-like structures that appear to be characteristic of the symbiont. Finally, the role of this bacterium in parthenogenesis induction inE. hispidawas confirmed. Based on phylogenetic analyses and electron microscopy, classification of the symbionts fromEncarsiaas ‘CandidatusCardinium hertigii’ is proposed.
Elm yellows group (16SrV) phytoplasmas, which are associated with devastating diseases in elm, grapevine, blackberry, cherry, peach and several other plant species in America, Europe and Asia, represent one of the most diverse phytoplasma clusters. On the basis of phylogenetic analysis of 16S rDNA sequences, elm yellows group phytoplasmas form a discrete subclade within the phytoplasma clade. Three phylogenetic parameters, namely 16S rRNA, ribosomal protein and secY genes, have been evaluated for their usefulness in differentiating elm yellows group phytoplasmas. RFLP analysis of 16S rRNA sequences differentiated the elm yellows group phytoplasmas into five subgroups. Twelve RFLP subgroups were differentiated on the basis of ribosomal protein and 13 were differentiated using secY gene sequences. Phylogenetic analysis of the ribosomal protein genes and secY gene alone or in combination indicated that the subgroups constitute 12 genetically distinct lineages, each of which appears to have evolved under different ecological constraints such as specific vector or plant hosts. On the basis of unique DNA and biological properties, it is proposed that the elm yellows phytoplasma EY1T represents a novel taxon, ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma ulmi’.
Intracellular bacteria were observed in the hepatopancreas of the terrestrial isopod Porcellio scaber. Comparative 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis and electron microscopic observations were used to determine the taxonomic position of these intracellular bacteria. Phylogenetic analysis and a complex developmental cycle affiliate these bacteria to the order Chlamydiales, within which they form a distinctive lineage, close to the family Simkaniaceae. They share <92 % 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity with their closest relative and <88 % similarity with other members of the order Chlamydiales. A specific signature oligonucleotide sequence was identified and used as a probe, enabling the identification of intracellular bacteria in infected hepatopancreatic tissue. According to the distinctive morphology of their elementary bodies, which are rod-shaped rather than spherical and contain translucent oblong structures, their genomic properties and their crustacean host, the name ‘Candidatus Rhabdochlamydia porcellionis' is proposed for intracellular bacteria in the hepatopancreas of P. scaber.