Phylogenetic Analysis of Uncultured Magnetotactic Bacteria from the Alpha-Subclass of Proteobacteria

Stefan Spring, Rudolf Amann, Wolfgang Ludwig, Karl Heinz Schleifer, Dirk Schüler, Karl Poralla, Nikolai Petersen

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56 Scopus citations


Magnetotactic bacteria were magnetically enriched from freshwater sediments of various sites in Germany. Three partial and seven almost complete 16S rDNA sequences were analyzed and by fluorescent oligonucleotide probing assigned to distinct morphotypes, nine to magnetotactic cocci and one to a magnetotactic rod. The sequences were most similar to 16S rDNA sequences determined for members of the alpha-subclass of Proteobacteria and are currently forming a separate lineage within this alpha-subclass. The phylogenetic diversity of magnetic cocci was found to exceed the variety of distinguishable morphotypes. Whole-cell hybridization proved that sequence differences between 16S rDNAs of closely related magnetic cocci were indeed present in the 16S rRNA and not due to sequencing or PCR artifacts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-508
Number of pages8
JournalSystematic and Applied Microbiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1995


  • 16S rRNA genes
  • Diversity
  • In situ hybridization
  • Magnetotactic bacteria
  • Phylogeny


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