Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-2004

Publication Title

Journal of Clinical Microbiology

Volume

42

Issue

8

Abstract

In order to determine if variations in rRNA sequence could be used for discrimination of the members of the Bacillus cereus group, we analyzed 183 16S rRNA and 74 23S rRNA sequences for all species in the B. cereus group. We also analyzed 30 gyrB sequences for B. cereus group strains with published 16S rRNA sequences. Our findings indicated that the three most common species of the B. cereus group, B. cereus, Bacillus thuringiensis, and Bacillus mycoides, were each heterogeneous in all three gene sequences, while all analyzed strains of Bacillus anthracis were found to be homogeneous. Based on analysis of 16S and 23S rRNA sequence variations, the microorganisms within the B. cereus group were divided into seven subgroups, Anthracis, Cereus A and B, Thuringiensis A and B, and Mycoides A and B, and these seven subgroups were further organized into two distinct clusters. This classification of the B. cereus group conflicts with current taxonomic groupings, which are based on phenotypic traits. The presence of B. cereus strains in six of the seven subgroups and the presence of B. thuringiensis strains in three of the subgroups do not support the proposed unification of B. cereus and B. thuringiensis into one species. Analysis of the available phenotypic data for the strains included in this study revealed phenotypic traits that may be characteristic of several of the subgroups. Finally, our results demonstrated that rRNA and gyrB sequences may be used for discriminating B. anthracis from other microorganisms in the B. cereus group.

Comments

Author Posting. © American Society for Microbiology, 2004. This article is posted here by permission of the American Society for Microbiology for personal use, not for redistribution. The article was published in Journal of Clinical Microbiology, Volume 42, Issue 8, August 2004, http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JCM.42.8.3711–3730.2004

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