1887

Abstract

In 2000, the full genome sequence of (previously known as ) serovar 3 was released. In 2002, after prolonged debate, it was agreed that the former should be divided into two species – and . To provide additional support for this decision and improve our understanding of the relationship between these two species, the authors studied four ‘core’ genes or gene clusters in ATCC reference strains of all 14 serovars of and . These ‘core’ regions were the rRNA gene clusters, the EF-Tu genes (), urease gene clusters and multiple-banded antigen genes (). The known genome sequences (GenBank accession no. NC_002162) were used as reference. DNA insertions and deletions (indels) were found in all of the gene regions studied, except , but they were found only between, not within, the two species. An incidental finding was that there was inter-copy heterogeneity for rRNA gene cluster sequences. Sequence analysis (sequence heterogeneity and especially indels) of all four selected targets consistently supported the separation of human ureaplasmas into two species. Except for multiple-banded antigen, there was less heterogeneity in amino acid sequences of proteins, between species, than in the nucleic acid sequences of the corresponding genes. The degrees of heterogeneity at the 5′ end of the species-specific regions of multiple-banded antigen were almost identical for both amino acid and nucleotide sequences. Analysis of the authors' results provided an interesting case study to help resolve some common problems in the use of sequence data to infer phylogenetic relationships and support taxonomic changes. It is recommended that, to avoid confusion, the new nomenclature be used for human ureaplasmas in future publications.

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2004-09-01
2020-01-22
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