Molecular signatures for the class Coriobacteriia and its different clades; proposal for division of the class Coriobacteriia into the emended order Coriobacteriales, containing the emended family Coriobacteriaceae and Atopobiaceae fam. nov., and Eggerthellales ord. nov., containing the family Eggerthellaceae fam. nov.
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The species of the class Coriobacteriia are currently distinguished from other bacteria primarily on the basis of their branching in the 16S rRNA gene trees. No reliable molecular marker is known that distinguishes the bacteria of this class from other organisms. We report here the results of detailed phylogenetic and comparative analyses on 22 sequenced genomes from members of the class Coriobacteriia. Detailed comparative analyses on protein sequences from these genomes, reported here, have identified 66 conserved signature inserts or deletions (i.e. indels) (CSIs) in widely distributed proteins that are specific for a number of different clades of the class Coriobacteriia at multiple phylogenetic levels, which are also supported by phylogenetic analyses. A set of 24 CSIs in different proteins are specific for all sequenced members of the class Coriobacteriia, providing novel molecular markers distinguishing and delimiting this class. One additional CSI is uniquely present in all members of the class Coriobacteriia and the phylum Actinobacteria supporting their placement within this bacterial phylum. A set of 16 CSIs in divergent proteins are uniquely found in the genomes of all species for which sequences are available from the glucose-fermenting genera Coriobacterium, Collinsella, Atopobium and Olsenella, but they are not present in any other bacteria. The species from these genera also form a strongly supported clade (Clade I) in the phylogenetic trees based upon concatenated protein sequences and the 16S rRNA. An additional 10 CSIs in different proteins are specifically present in all members of the asaccharolytic genera Eggerthella, Cryptobacterium, Slackia and Gordonibacter for which sequence data is available. A clade consisting of these genera (Clade II) is also supported by our phylogenetic analyses. Within Clade I, two smaller clades, one consisting of the genera Coriobacterium and Collinsella and the other containing the genera Atopobium and Olsenella, are independently supported by multiple CSIs (eight and seven respectively) and our phylogenetic analyses. Based upon the results of phylogenetic studies and the identified molecular markers, which clearly distinguish and demarcate the above indicated clades of the class Coriobacteriia at different phylogenetic depths, we propose division of the class Coriobacteriia into two orders (viz. Coriobacteriales and Eggerthellales ord. nov.) and three families (viz. Coriobacteriaceae, Atopobiaceae fam. nov. and Eggerthellaceae fam. nov.). Additionally, descriptions of the class Coriobacteriia, the order Coriobacteriales and the family Coriobacteriaceea are also emended.
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