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Identification and Analysis of Informative Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in 16S rRNA Gene Sequences of the Bacillus cereus Group.


ABSTRACT: Analysis of 16S rRNA genes is important for phylogenetic classification of known and novel bacterial genera and species and for detection of uncultivable bacteria. PCR amplification of 16S rRNA genes with universal primers produces a mixture of amplicons from all rRNA operons in the genome, and the sequence data generally yield a consensus sequence. Here we describe valuable data that are missing from consensus sequences, variable effects on sequence data generated from nonidentical 16S rRNA amplicons, and the appearance of data displayed by different software programs. These effects are illustrated by analysis of 16S rRNA genes from 50 strains of the Bacillus cereus group, i.e., Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, Bacillus mycoides, and Bacillus thuringiensis These species have 11 to 14 rRNA operons, and sequence variability occurs among the multiple 16S rRNA genes. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) previously reported to be specific to B. anthracis was detected in some B. cereus strains. However, a different SNP, at position 1139, was identified as being specific to B. anthracis, which is a biothreat agent with high mortality rates. Compared with visual analysis of the electropherograms, basecaller software frequently missed gene sequence variations or could not identify variant bases due to overlapping basecalls. Accurate detection of 16S rRNA gene sequences that include intragenomic variations can improve discrimination among closely related species, improve the utility of 16S rRNA databases, and facilitate rapid bacterial identification by targeted DNA sequence analysis or by whole-genome sequencing performed by clinical or reference laboratories.

SUBMITTER: Hakovirta JR 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5078553 | BioStudies | 2016-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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