- International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology
- Volume 44, Issue 4
f Taxonomic Note: A Place for DNA-DNA Reassociation and 16S rRNA Sequence Analysis in the Present Species Definition in Bacteriology
- Authors: E. STACKEBRANDT*, B. M. GOEBEL
- * Corresponding author. Mailing address: DSM-Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH, Mascheroder Weg 1b, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. Phone: 49 531 2616 352. Fax: 49 531 2616 418. Electronic mail address: Stackebrandt@venus.gbf-braunschweig.d400.de.
- First Published Online: 01 October 1994, International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 44: 846-849, doi: 10.1099/00207713-44-4-846
- Subject: Matters Relating To The International Committee On Systematic Bacteriology
- Issue Published:
Because a natural entity “species” cannot be recognized as a group of strains that is genetically well separated from its phylogenetic neighbors, a pragmatic approach was taken to define a species by a polyphasic approach (L. G. Wayne, D. J. Brenner, R. R. Colwell, P. A. D. Grimont, O. Kandler, M. I. Krichevsky, L. H. Moore, W. E. C. Moore, R. G. E. Murray, E. Stackebrandt, M. P. Starr, and H. G. Trüper, Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 37:463-464, 1987), in which a DNA reassociation value of about 70% plays a dominant role. With the establishment of rapid sequence analysis of 16S rRNA and the recognition of its potential to determine the phylogenetic position of any prokaryotic organism, the role of 16S rRNA similarities in the present species definition in bacteriology needs to be clarified. Comparative studies clearly reveal the limitations of the sequence analysis of this conserved gene and gene product in the determination of relationships at the strain level for which DNA-DNA reassociation experiments still constitute the superior method. Since today the primary structure of 16S rRNA is easier to determine than hybridization between DNA strands, the strength of the sequence analysis is to recognize the level at which DNA pairing studies need to be performed, which certainly applies to similarities of 97% and higher.
Copyright © 1994 International Union of Microbiological Societies | Published by the Microbiology Society
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