Jonathan A. Eisen jeisen at leland.stanford.edu
Wed Dec 13 14:07:40 EST 1995

In article <4al8ie$pnb at darwin.nbnet.nb.ca>, cigolott at nbnet.nb.ca (Tom C.) wrote:

> In message <4a4jhv$iec at nntp.Stanford.EDU> - "Jonathan A. Eisen"
<jeisen at leland.
> stanford.edu> writes:
> }
> }At the suggestion of a kind soul who read my posting on Campylobacter I 
> }will try and make my answer more concise and clear.
> }
> }No - species in the Campylobacter genus are not spirochetes, if you 
> }define spirochetes in an evolutionary sense.  That is, despite some 
> }phenotypic similarities to spirochetes, species in the Campylobacter 
> }genus are evolutionarily distant from true spirochetes like Borrelia.
> }
> hmmmm
> Might you have any good pointers to the above......
> Or better still, maybe a short preview of the distictions would be great. 
> Have bin noticing nomenclature problems in some organisms....eg H. pylori 
> which used to be a cousin of Campylobacter but now it seems that it is 
> differnt.
> regards
> tom c.

Maybe you missed my original post - I think I put citations there for the
evolutionary position of Campylobacter.  But I will do so again:

Using comparisons of gene sequences from different species (usually
sequences of rRNA genes) many people, especially Carl Woese and colleagues
have been able to divide the bacteria into different evolutionary groups. 
Using these techniques, Campylobacter and Helicobacter have been shown to
be closely related to each other and have been grouped into the epsilon
subgroup of the Proteobacteria.  The Proteobacteria are considered to be
one of many bacterial Phyla. The exact divisions of bacteria into
different phyla are debated (for example, some people think the low-GC and
high-GC gram-positives groups together while others disagree. In addition,
the relationships between bacterial groups are not completely agreed on. 
However, most phylogenetic analysis suggests there are at least 10,
probably more groups of bacteria.  Some of the better characterized groups
include (with examples and some subgroups):

   1. Thermophilic oxygen reducers (Aquifex pyrophilus)
   2. Thermotogales (Thermotoga maritima)
   3. Green non-sulfur bacteria (Chloroflexus aurantiacus)
   4. Deinococcus-Thermus (Thermus aquaticus, Deinococcus radiodurans)
   5. Flexibacter-Bacteroides (Bacteroides fragilis)
   6. Green sulfur (Chlorobium tepidum)
   7. Planctomyces
         - Chlamydia (Chlamydia trachomatis)
         - Planctomyces
   8. Cyanobacteria (Synechococcus lividus)
   9. Fibrobacteria (Fibrobacter intestinalis)
   10. Spirochetes (Borrelia burgdorferi)
   11. Proteobacteria
         alpha - Rhizobium meliloti
         betas - Neisseria gonorrhoeae
         gammas - E. coli, Haemophilus influenzae, 
         deltas - Myxococcus xanthus
         epsilon - Campylobacter, Helicobacter
   12. Gram-positives
         high GC - Streptomyces
         low GC - Streptococcus

Reviews of bacterial evolutionary relationships include:
   Woese, CR. 1987. Microbiol. Rev. 51:221-271.
   Olsen, GJ et al. 1994. J. Bacteriol. 171: 5713-5719.
   Van de Peer, Y et al. 1994. Syst. Appl. Microbiol. 17:32-38.

For specific info. on Campylobacter and Helicobacter see

Trust, TJ et al. J. Bacteriol. 176: 4597-4609
Rainey, FA et al. Syst. Appl. Microbiol. 16: 373-379.


! Jonathan A. Eisen                       415-723-2425 (lab)         !
! Department of Biological Sciences       415-725-1848 (fax)         !
! Stanford University                     415-497-0599 (home)        !
! Stanford, CA   94305-5020               jeisen at leland.stanford.edu !

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