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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Four New Spiroplasma Species from Tabanid (Diptera:tabanidae) Flies

Authors
item Whitcomb, Robert
item French, Frank - GEORGIA SOUTHERN UNIV.
item Tully, Joseph - FREDERICK CANCER RESEARCH
item Gasparich, Gail - INSECT BIOCONTROL LAB
item Henegar, Roberta
item Konai, Meghnad
item Hackett, Kevin
item Adams, Jean
item Williamson, David - STATE UNIV OF NEW YORK

Submitted to: International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 9, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Four spiroplasma strains, all isolated from deer or horse flies (Diptera: Tabanidae), were serologically distinct. Cells of all strains were helical and motile. Cells of strain DF-1-T were unusually short helices; helical cells of other strains were long, usually with six or more turns. Electron microscopic examination of all strains showed wall-less cells surrounded only by a single cytoplasmic membrane. Strains TABS-2-T, TAUS-1-T, and DF-1-T required serum or sterol for growth, but strain TG-1-T was able to grow in the absence of serum or sterol. All strains catabolized glucose but did not hydrolyze urea. Only strain DF-1-T hydrolyzed arginine. The guanine + cytosine (G + C) content of the deoxyribonucleic acid of the strains were: DF-1-T, 29 # 1 mol%; TG-1-T, 26 # 1 mol%; TABS-2-T, 27 # 1 mol%; and TAUS-1-T, 26 # mol%. The genome sizes of strains DF-1-T and TAUS-1-T are 1,270 kbp and 1,375 kbp, respectively. These results will be of interest to microbial taxonomists, insect pathologists, and workers in biological control and integrated pest management.

Technical Abstract: Few of the spiroplasma groups associated with horse flies (tabanids) have been given a binomial names. Proper classification is required if they are to be used for biological control. In this paper we describe a new spiroplasma that appears to specialize on deer flies, a property that could make it of interest in deer fly control. Three spiroplasmas described are restricted to southeastern habitats. An understanding of the taxonomy of insect- associated organisms, which this study provides, will lead to more rational development of biological control organisms. Existence of microorganisms in biting flies may open up eventual biological control technologies. In any event, description of these four species is a major step in proper classification of the genus Spiroplasma.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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