Determination of the diversity of rhodopirellula isolates from european seas by multilocus sequence analysis

Nadine Winkelmann, Ulrike Jaekel, Carolin Meyer, Wilbert Serrano, Reinhard Rachel, Ramon Rosselló-Mora, Jens Harder

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31 Scopus citations


In the biogeography of microorganisms, the habitat size of an attached-living bacterium has never been investigated. We approached this theme with a multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) study of new strains of Rhodopirellula sp., an attached-living planctomycete. The development of an MLSA for Rhodopirellula baltica enabled the characterization of the genetic diversity at the species level, beyond the resolution of the 16S rRNA gene. The alleles of the nine housekeeping genes acsA, guaA, trpE,purH, glpF,fumC, icd, glyA, and mdh Indicated the presence of 13 genetically defined operational taxonomic units (OTUs) in our culture collection. The MLSA-based OTUs coincided with the taxonomic units defined by DNA-DNA hybridization experiments. BOX-PCR supported the MLSA-based differentiation of two closely related OTUs. This study established a taxon-area relationship of cultivable Rhodopirellula species. In European seas, three closely related species covered the Baltic Sea and the eastern North Sea, the North Atlantic region, and the southern North Sea to the Mediterranean. The last had regional genotypes, as revealed by BOX-PCR. This suggests a limited habitat size of attached-living Rhodopirellula species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)776-785
Number of pages10
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2010


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