Genetic relationships within the genus Prevotella analyzed by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis and DNA-DNA hybridization

Syst Appl Microbiol. 1999 Dec;22(4):596-603. doi: 10.1016/S0723-2020(99)80013-7.


The genetic diversity and relationships within the genus Prevotella were studied by analyzing twenty-five strains by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis (MLEE) at nine metabolic enzyme loci and DNA-DNA hybridization. MLEE revealed a high genetic diversity with 25 electrophoretic types (ETs) for the 25 strains studied, a mean number of alleles per enzyme locus of 6.8 and a mean genetic diversity per locus of 0.786. The index of association described by Maynard Smith et al. (1993) revealed a clonal structure within the genus Prevotella. A dendrogram generated by cluster analysis of a matrix of ETs showed that species like P. bivia, P. buccae, P. oris, P. oralis, P. nigrescens, and P. denticola form clusters that are consistent with DNA homologies. However, strains identified as P. melaninogenica or P. loescheii by DNA-DNA hybridization did not constitute distinct subpopulations in MLEE. MLEE analysis demonstrated its high power in differentiating closely related strains. It provides an alternative to 16S rRNA analysis for the study of phylogenetic relationships within the genus Prevotella, especially for differentiating strains with high DNA homology or high rRNA homology.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Bacteroidaceae Infections / microbiology
  • DNA, Bacterial / chemistry
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel / methods*
  • Enzymes / chemistry
  • Enzymes / genetics*
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization*
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Prevotella / classification*
  • Prevotella / genetics*


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Enzymes