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Chapter 1 : Systematics and Ecology of

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Abstract:

This chapter provides a review of current ideas concerning the systematics of the aerobic endospore-forming bacteria and shows how an appreciation of their classification and identification makes possible for a better understanding of their ecology. The DNA base composition of thermoactinomycete species is around 50 to 54% G+C, which is much lower than the 60% or more found in the true actinomycetes. 16S rRNA analyses have placed species firmly alongside other thermophilic species, and the sequences show very low homology with actinomycete rRNA sequences. It is possible to allocate many species to one of six taxa that have distinguishable physiologies and, perhaps surprisingly, are generally consistent with the division of the genus based on spore morphologies. Phylogenetic trees of some members of the genus Bacillus based on 16S rRNA sequence analysis are provided in the chapter. That species constitute discrete genetic and phenetic entities raises interesting questions with regard to gene exchange and the evolution of the species. The increased number of well-defined species described together with the physiological diversity that they will undoubtedly represent will present a formidable challenge to the taxonomist, but the outcome should be a fascinating insight into the evolutionary history of these bacteria and perhaps of endospore formation itself.

Citation: Priest F. 1993. Systematics and Ecology of , p 3-16. In Sonenshein A, Hoch J, Losick R (ed), and Other Gram-Positive Bacteria. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818388.ch1

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Bacillus cereus
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Bacillus anthracis
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Figure 1

Phylogenetic trees of some members of the genus based on 16S rRNA sequence analysis. (A) Reproduced with permission from reference 4. Note that is misplaced and should be assigned to the branch ( a). (B) Reproduced with permission from reference 68.

Citation: Priest F. 1993. Systematics and Ecology of , p 3-16. In Sonenshein A, Hoch J, Losick R (ed), and Other Gram-Positive Bacteria. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818388.ch1
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References

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Tables

Generic image for table
Table 1

Allocation of some species to groups on the basis of phenotypic similarities

Citation: Priest F. 1993. Systematics and Ecology of , p 3-16. In Sonenshein A, Hoch J, Losick R (ed), and Other Gram-Positive Bacteria. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818388.ch1

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