1887

Abstract

Species of the bacterial genus live in a symbiotic relationship with entomopathogenic nematodes. Besides their use as biological control agents against agricultural pests, some species are also a source of natural products and are of medical interest due to their ability to cause tissue infections and subcutaneous lesions in humans. Given the diversity of species, rapid and reliable methods to resolve this genus to the species level are needed. In this study, we evaluated the potential of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) for the identification of species. To this end, we established a collection of 54 isolates consisting of type strains and multiple field strains that belong to each of the validly described species and subspecies of this genus. Reference spectra for the strains were generated and used to complement a currently available database. The extended reference database was then used for identification based on the direct transfer sample preparation method and the protein fingerprint of single colonies. High-level discrimination of distantly related species was observed. However, lower discrimination was observed with some of the most closely related species and subspecies. Our results therefore suggest that MALDI-TOF MS can be used to correctly identify strains at the genus and species level, but has limited resolution power for closely related species and subspecies. Our study demonstrates the suitability and limitations of MALDI-TOF-based identification methods for assessment of the taxonomic position and identification of isolates.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • Not Applicable , University of Bern
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2020-04-17
2020-06-04
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