Phenotypic and phylogenetic analyses show Microcoleus chthonoplastes to be a cosmopolitan cyanobacterium

Ferran Garcia-Pichel, Lee Prufert-Bebout, Gerard Muyzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

163 Scopus citations


We used micromanipulation to isolate from their environment representative samples of seven geographically distant field populations fitting the description of Microcoleus chthonoplastes (a cyanobacterium) and obtained seven corresponding cultured strains. Samples of both field populations and cultures were phenotypically characterized by microscale techniques, and their partial 16S rRNA gene sequences were compared by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and in some cases by sequencing. All field populations and strains were phenotypically extremely coherent, and their 16S rRNA sequences were indistinguishable by DGGE. The sequences determined were identical or virtually identical. Thus, M. chthonoplastes represents a single, well-delimited taxon with a truly cosmopolitan distribution. Comparison with three culture collection strains originally assigned to M. chthonoplastes revealed that strain PCC 7420 belongs to the same tightly delimited group, both phenotypically and in 16S rRNA gene sequence, but that strains SAG 3192 and 10mfx do not.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3284-3291
Number of pages8
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology


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