Three strains, CLM-U50T, CLM-R50 and IVIC-Bov1, belonging to the genus Leptospira , were isolated in Venezuela from a patient with leptospirosis, a domestic rat (Rattus norvegicus) and a cow (Bos taurus), respectively. The initial characterisation of these strains based on the rrs gene (16S rRNA) suggested their designation as a novel species within the ‘intermediates’ group of the genus Leptospira . Further phylogenomic characterisation based on single copy core genes was consistent with their separation into a novel species. The average nucleotide identity between these three strains was >99 %, but below 89 % with respect to any previously described leptospiral species, also supporting their designation as a novel species. Given this evidence, these three isolates were considered to represent a novel species, for which the name Leptospira venezuelensis sp. nov. is proposed, with CLM-U50T (=CIP 111407T=DSM 105752T) as the type strain.
Chicory (Cichorium intybus) is a perennial plant (Asteraceae) that grows wild in pasture fields in Saudi Arabia. Chicory plants displaying symptoms typically induced by phytoplasmas, such as bushy phenotype and stunt, were observed in the Mulayda region, Qassim governorate, Saudi Arabia. In this study we examined samples taken from three symptomatic chicory plants and confirmed the presence of phytoplasma DNA. Analysis of the 16S rRNA-encoding sequences showed that the plants were infected with a phytoplasma from the pigeon pea witches’-broom group (16SrIX). Sequencing of the 16S rRNA-encoding gene and the partial cpn60 sequence, computer-simulated RFLP analysis, and phylogenetic analysis of both markers revealed that the phytoplasma identified was representative of a new 16SrIX-J and cpn60 UT IX-IJ subgroup. The present study identified chicory plants as a novel host for phytoplasma strains within the pigeon pea witches’-broom phytoplasma group, and expanded the known diversity of this group.