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Discrimination between Synechocystis members (Cyanobacteria) based on heterogeneity of their 16S rRNA and ITS regions

Mojca Juteršek, Marina Klemenčič, Marko Dolinar


Cyanobacteria are an important group of microorganisms displaying a range of morphologies that enable phenotypic differentiation between the major lineages of cyanobacteria, often to the genus level, but rarely to species or strain level. We focused on the unicellular genus Synechocystis that includes the model cyanobacterial strain PCC 6803. For 11 Synechocystis members obtained from cell culture collections, we sequenced the variable part of the 16S rRNA-encoding region and the 16S - 23S internally transcribed spacer (ITS), both standardly used in taxonomy. In combination with microscopic examination we observed that 2 out of 11 strains from cell culture collections were clearly different from typical Synechocystis members. For the rest of the samples, we demonstrated that both sequenced genomic regions are useful for discrimination between investigated species and that the ITS region alone allows for a reliable differentiation between Synechocystis strains.


Synechocystis; DNA barcoding; Cyanobacteria; rRNA; ITS region

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Copyright (c) 2017 Mojca Juteršek, Marina Klemenčič, Marko Dolinar

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