Intraspecific diversity of Brevibacterium linens, Corynebacterium glutamicum and Rhodococcus erythropolis based on partial 16S rDNA sequence analysis and Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy

Helene Oberreuter, Joachim Charzinski and Siegfried Scherer

Microbiology, 148, 2002, pp. 1523-1532


The intraspecific diversity of 31 strains of Brevibacterium linens, 27 strains of Corynebacterium glutamicum and 29 strains of Rhodococcus erythropolis was determined by partial 16S rDNA sequence analysis and Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy. As a prerequisite for the analyses, 27 strains derived from culture collections which had carried invalid or wrong species denotations were reclassified in accordance with polyphasic taxonomical data. FT-IR spectroscopy proved to be a rapid and reliable method for screening for similar isolates and for identifying these actinomycetes at the species level. Two main conclusions emerged from the analyses. (1) Comparison of intraspecific 16S rDNA similarities suggested that R. erythropolis strains have a very low diversity, B. linens displays high diversity and C. glutamicum occupies an intermediate position. (2) No correlation of FT-IR spectral similarity and 16S rDNA sequence similarity below the species level (i.e., between strains of one species) was observed. Therefore, diversification of 16S rDNA sequences and microevolutionary change of the cellular components detected by FT-IR spectroscopy appear to be de-coupled.


coryneform bacteria, actinomycetes, 16S rDNA sequence analysis, identification, taxonomy, intraspecific diversity, FT-IR spectroscopy