Author(s): Stahl DA, Key R, Flesher B, Smit J
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Abstract Caulobacter is a distinctive genus of prosthecate bacteria. Because caulobacters adhere to surfaces and are found in diverse locales, their role in oligotrophic environments and bacterial biofilm communities is of interest. The phylogenetic relationships of a group of marine and freshwater caulobacters were examined in part to address whether the taxonomic grouping of these bacteria (based primarily on morphological characters) was consistent with 16S rRNA sequence divergence. The caulobacters examined (9 marine and 11 freshwater species or strains) were affiliated with the alpha proteobacteria. They made up a diverse yet, with the possible exception of a strain of Caulobacter subvibrioides, coherent assemblage. The diversity was most apparent in a comparison of freshwater and marine isolates; an early divergence within the main caulobacter lineage generally corresponded to strains isolated from freshwater and marine habitats. The marine caulobacter assemblage was not exclusive; it also embraced strains of marine hyphomonads and Rhodobacter capsulatus. We hypothesize that these genera are derived from more ancestral caulobacters. Overall, the data are consistent with the interpretation that all of the caulobacters examined, with the possible exception of C. subvibrioides, are ancestrally related, albeit anciently, and that most often division by terrestrial and marine habitats corresponds to an early evolutionary divergence within the genus.
This article was published in J Bacteriol
and referenced in Advances in Recycling & Waste Management