Robust demarcation of the family Peptostreptococcaceae and its main genera based on phylogenomic studies and taxon-specific molecular markers

Bello et al. (2024). International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 74 (2)
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The family Peptostreptococcaceae, which contains 15 genera including Clostridioides, presently lacks proper circumscription. Using 52 available genomes for Peptostreptococcaceae species, we report comprehensive phylogenomic and comparative analyses to reliably discern their evolutionary relationships. In phylogenetic trees based on core genome proteins and 16S rRNA gene sequences, the examined species formed a strongly supported clade designated as Peptostreptococcaceae sensu stricto. This clade encompassed the genera Peptostreptococcus (type genus), Asaccharospora, Clostridioides, Intestinibacter, Paeniclostridium, Paraclostridium, Peptacetobacter, Romboutsia and Terrisporobacter, and two misclassified species (viz. Eubacterium tenue and ‘Clostridium dakarense’). The distinctness of this clade is strongly supported by eight identified conserved signature indels (CSIs), which are specific for the species from this clade. Based on the robust evidence provided by presented studies, we are proposing the emendment of family Peptostreptococcaceae to only the genera within the Peptostreptococcaceae sensu stricto clade. We also report 67 other novel CSIs, which reliably demarcate different Peptostreptococcaceae species clades and clarify the classification of some misclassified species. Based on the consistent evidence obtained from different presented studies, we are making the following proposals to clarify the classification of Peptostreptococcaceae species: (i) transfer of Eubacterium tenue, Paeniclostridium ghonii and Paeniclostridium sordellii as comb. nov. into the genus Paraclostridium; (ii) transfer of Clostridioides mangenotii as a comb. nov. into Metaclostridioides gen. nov.; (iii) classification of ‘Clostridium dakarense’ as a novel species Faecalimicrobium dakarense gen. nov., sp. nov. (type strain FF1T; genome and 16S rRNA accession numbers GCA_000499525.1 and KC517358, respectively); (iv) transfer of two misclassified species, Clostridium paradoxum and Clostridium thermoalcaliphilum, into Alkalithermobacter gen. nov.; and (v) proposals for two novel families, Peptoclostridiaceae fam. nov. and Tepidibacteraceae fam. nov., to accommodate remaining unclassified Peptostreptococcaceae genera. The described CSIs specific for different families and genera provide novel and reliable means for the identification, diagnostics and biochemical studies on these bacteria.
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