The Genomic Heterogeneity among Mycobacterium terrae Complex Displayed by Sequencing of 16S rRNA and hsp65 Genes

Chang Kyu Lee, Hyun Mi Gi, Yunjung Cho, Young Kee Kim, Kap No Lee, Ki Joon Song, Jin Won Song, Kwang Sook Park, Eun Mi Park, Hyeyoung Lee, Gill Han Bai

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10 Citations (Scopus)


The species identification within Mycobacterium terrae complex has been known to be very difficult. In this study, the genomic diversity of M. terrae complex with eighteen clinical isolates, which were initially identified as M. terrae complex by phenotypic method, was investigated, including that of three type strains (M. terrae, M. nonchromogenicum, and M. triviale). 16S rRNA and 65-kDa heat shock protein (hsp65) gene sequences of mycobacteria were determined and aligned with eleven other references for the comparison using similarity search against the GenBank and Ribosomal Database Project II (RDP) databases. 16S rRNA and hsp65 genes of M. terrae complex showed genomic heterogeneity. Amongst the eighteen clinical isolates, nine were identified as M. nonchromogenicum, eight as M. terrae, one as M. mucogenicum with the molecular characteristic of rapid growth. M. nonchromogenicum could be subdivided into three subgroups, while M. terrae could be subdivided into two subgroups using a 5 bp criterion (>1% difference). Seven isolates in two subgroups of M. nonchromogenicum were Mycobacterium sp. strain MCRO 6, which was closely related to M. nonchromogenicum. The hsp65 gene could not differentiate one M. nonchromogenicum from M. avium or one M. terrae from M. intracellulare. The nucleotide sequence analysis of 16S rRNA and hsp65 genes was shown to be useful in identifying the M. terrae complex, but hsp65 was less discriminating than 16S rRNA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-90
Number of pages8
JournalMicrobiology and Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Virology


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