, Volume 93, Issue 3, pp 297-304
Date: 09 Oct 2007

Species-level identification of Bacillus strains isolates from marine sediments by conventional biochemical, 16S rRNA gene sequencing and inter-tRNA gene sequence lengths analysis

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The aim of this study was to compare the ability of commonly used conventional biochemical tests, sequencing analysis of 16S rRNA genes and tDNA-intergenic spacer length polymorphism (tDNA-PCR) to identify species of the genus Bacillus recovered from marine sediments. While biochemical tests were not sufficiently sensitive to distinguish between the 23 marine strains analyzed, partial 16S rRNA gene sequences allowed a correct identification, clustering them into four species belonging to Bacillus licheniformis (n = 6), Bacillus cereus (n = 9), Bacillus subtilis (n = 7) and Bacillus pumilus (n = 1). The identification results obtained with 16S rRNA sequencing were validated by tDNA-PCR analysis of 23 marine isolates that were identified by the similarities of their fingerprints to those of reference strains. tDNA-PCR fingerprinting was as discriminatory as 16S rRNA sequencing analysis. Although it was not able to distinguish among the species of the B. cereus and B. subtilis groups, it should be considered a rapid and easy approach for the reliable identification of unknown Bacillus isolates or at least for the primary differentiation of Bacillus groups.