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Evolutionary relationships among Chlamydophila abortus variant strains inferred by rRNA secondary structure-based phylogeny.


ABSTRACT: The evolutionary relationships among known Chlamydophila abortus variant strains including the LLG and POS, previously identified as being highly distinct, were investigated based on rRNA secondary structure information. PCR-amplified overlapping fragments of the 16S, 16S-23S intergenic spacer (IS), and 23S domain I rRNAs were subjected to cloning and sequencing. Secondary structure analysis revealed the presence of transitional single nucleotide variations (SNVs), two of which occurred in loops, while seven in stem regions that did not result in compensatory substitutions. Notably, only two SNVs, in 16S and 23S, occurred within evolutionary variable regions. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian phylogeny reconstructions revealed that C. abortus strains could be regarded as representing two distinct lineages, one including the "classical" C. abortus strains and the other the "LLG/POS variant", with the type strain B577(T) possibly representing an intermediate of the two lineages. The two C. abortus lineages shared three unique (apomorphic) characters in the 23S domain I and 16S-23S IS, but interestingly lacked synapomorphies in the 16S rRNA. The two lineages could be distinguished on the basis of eight positions; four of these comprised residues that appeared to be signature or unique for the "classical" lineage, while three were unique for the "LLG/POS variant". The U277 (E. coli numbering) signature character, corresponding to a highly conserved residue of the 16S molecule, and the unique G681 residue, conserved in a functionally strategic region also of 16S, are the most pronounced attributes (autapomorphies) of the "classical" and the "LLG/POS variant" lineages, respectively. Both lineages were found to be descendants of a common ancestor with the Prk/Daruma C. psittaci variant. Compared with the "classical", the "LLG/POS variant" lineage has retained more ancestral features. The current rRNA secondary structure-based analysis and phylogenetic inference reveal new insights into how these two C. abortus lineages have differentiated during their evolution.

SUBMITTER: Siarkou VI 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3101216 | BioStudies | 2011-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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