1887

Abstract

The genus (helical mollicutes: : : : : ) is associated primarily with insects. The cluster ( Weisburg . 1989 and Johansson and Pettersson 2002 ) is a group of mollicutes that includes the type species – – of , and . This cluster, associated solely with ruminants, contains five other species and subspecies. Earlier phylogenetic reconstructions based on partial 16S rDNA sequences and a limited sample of and sequences suggested that the genus was polyphyletic, as the cluster and the grouping that consisted of the hominis and pneumoniae groups of species were widely separated phylogenetically and the cluster was allied with . It is shown here that the cluster arose from through an intermediate group of non-helical spiroplasmal descendants – the . As this conclusion has profound implications in the taxonomy of , a detailed phylogenetic study of and its non-helical descendants was undertaken. These analyses, done with maximum-parsimony, provide cladistic status; a new nomenclature is introduced here, based on ‘bottom-up’ rather than ‘top-down’ clade classification. The order consists of four major clades: (i) the Mycoides–Entomoplasmataceae clade, which contains and its allies and and species and is a sister lineage to (ii) the Apis clade of . and the are paraphyletic, but this status does not diminish their phylogenetic usefulness. Five species that were previously unclassified phylogenetically are basal to the Apis clade and to the Mycoides clade. One of these species, sp. TIUS-1, has very poor helicity and a very small genome (840 kbp); this putative species can be envisioned as a ‘missing link’ in the evolution of the Mycoides–Entomoplasmataceae clade. The other two clades are: (iii) the Citri–Chrysopicola–Mirum clade (serogroups I, II, V and VIII) and (iv) the ixodetis clade (serogroup VI). As represents a basal divergence within the Mycoides–Entomoplasmataceae clade, and as is basal to the Mycoides clade, and its allies must have arisen from an ancestor in the . The paraphyletic grouping that consists of the Hominis and Pneumoniae groups ( Johansson & Pettersson 2002 ) of species contains the ancestral roots of spp. and haemoplasmas. This clade is a sister lineage to the Entomoplasmatales clade. Serological classifications of spiroplasma are very highly supported by the trees presented. Genome size and G+C content of micro-organismal DNA were moderately conserved, but there have been frequent and polyphyletically distributed genome reductions. Sterol requirements were polyphyletic, as was the ability to grow in the presence of polyoxyethylene sorbitan-supplemented, but not serum-supplemented, media. As this character is not phylogenetically distributed, and should be combined into a single genus. The phylogenetic trees presented here confirm previous reports of polyphyly of the genus . As both clades of contain several species of great practical importance, a change of the genus name for species in either clade would have immense practical implications. In addition, a change of the genus name for would have to be approved by the Judicial Commission. For these reasons, the Linnaean and phylogenetic classifications of must for now be discrepant.

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2004-05-01
2019-08-22
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vol. , part 3, pp. 893 – 918

Phylogenetic trees constructed for the genus .

Support for important features of spiroplasma trees.

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