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Description of Treponema azotonutricium sp. nov. and Treponema primitia sp. nov., the First Spirochetes Isolated from Termite Guts

Graber, Joseph R. and Leadbetter, Jared R. and Breznak, John A. (2004) Description of Treponema azotonutricium sp. nov. and Treponema primitia sp. nov., the First Spirochetes Isolated from Termite Guts. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 70 (3). pp. 1315-1320. ISSN 0099-2240. PMCID PMC368361. doi:10.1128/AEM.70.3.1315-1320.2004.

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Long after their original discovery, termite gut spirochetes were recently isolated in pure culture for the first time. They revealed metabolic capabilities hitherto unknown in the Spirochaetes division of the Bacteria, i.e., H2 plus CO2 acetogenesis (J. R. Leadbetter, T. M. Schmidt, J. R. Graber, and J. A. Breznak, Science 283:686-689, 1999) and dinitrogen fixation (T. G. Lilburn, K. S. Kim, N. E. Ostrom, K. R. Byzek, J. R. Leadbetter, and J. A. Breznak, Science 292:2495-2498, 2001). However, application of specific epithets to the strains isolated (Treponema strains ZAS-1, ZAS-2, and ZAS-9) was postponed pending a more complete characterization of their phenotypic properties. Here we describe the major properties of strain ZAS-9, which is readily distinguished from strains ZAS-1 and ZAS-2 by its shorter mean cell wavelength or body pitch (1.1 versus 2.3 µm), by its nonhomoacetogenic fermentation of carbohydrates to acetate, ethanol, H2, and CO2, and by 7 to 8% dissimilarity between its 16S rRNA sequence and those of ZAS-1 and ZAS-2. Strain ZAS-9 is proposed as the type strain of the new species, Treponema azotonutricium. Strains ZAS-1 and ZAS-2, which are H2-consuming, CO2-reducing homoacetogens, are proposed here to be two strains of the new species Treponema primitia. Apart from the salient differences mentioned above, the genomes of all three strains were similar in size (3,461 to 3,901 kb), in G+C content (50.0 to 51.0 mol%), and in possession of 2 copies of the gene encoding 16S rRNA (rrs). For comparison, the genome of the free-living spirochete Spirochaeta aurantia strain J1 was analyzed by the same methods and found to have a size of 3,719 kb, to contain 65.6 mol% G+C, and also to possess 2 copies of the rrs gene.

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Leadbetter, Jared R.0000-0002-7033-0844
Additional Information:© 2004, American Society for Microbiology. Received 12 August 2003/ Accepted 27 November 2003 We thank Kwi Kim and Brendan Keough for help with determination of genome sizes and rrs copy numbers and Kristina Stredwick for providing cells of M. xanthus DK1622. We are also grateful to W. B. Whitman for advice on HPLC analysis of the G+C content of DNA and to Hans G. Trüper for help with nomenclature and construction of Latinized specific epithets. This research was supported by NSF research grants IBN-9709000 and IBN-0114505 to J.A.B.
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Issue or Number:3
PubMed Central ID:PMC368361
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:GRAaem04
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ID Code:1850
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Deposited On:20 Feb 2006
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 19:43

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