Comparative sequence analysis of 16S rRNA genes was used to determine the phylogenetic relationship of the genus Cristispira to other spirochetes. Since Cristispira organisms cannot presently be grown in vitro, 16S rRNA genes were amplified directly from bacterial DNA isolated from Cristispira a cell-laden crystalline styles of the oyster Crassostrea virginica. The amplified products were then cloned into Escherichia coli plasmids. Sequence comparisons of the gene coding for 16S rRNA (rDNA) insert of one clone, designated CP1, indicated that it was spirochetal. The sequence of the 16S rDNA insert of another clone was mycoplasmal. The CP1 sequence possessed most of the individual base signatures that are unique to 16S rRNA (or rDNA) sequences of known spirochetes. CP1 branched deeply among other spirochetal genera within the family Spirochaetaceae, and accordingly, it represents a separate genus within this family. A fluorescently labeled DNA probe designed from the CP1 sequence was used for in situ hybridization experiments to verify that the sequence obtained was derived from the observed Cristispira cells.
|Journal||Applied and Environmental Microbiology|
|Publication status||Published - 1996|