Proteomics and multilocus sequence analysis confirm intraspecific variability of Vibrio tapetis


Correspondence: Jesús L. Romalde, Departamento de Microbiología y Parasitología CIBUS, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Campus Sur s/n. 15782, Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Tel.: +34 981 563100, ext. 16961; fax: +34 981 528085; e-mail:


Vibrio tapetis is the etiological agent of brown ring disease (BRD) in clams. Phenotypic, antigenic and genetic variability have been demonstrated, with three groups being established associated with host origin. In this work we analyze the variability of representative strains of these three groups, CECT 4600T and GR0202RD, isolated from Manila clam and carpet-shell clam, respectively, and HH6087, isolated from halibut, on the basis of the whole proteome analysis by 2D-PAGE and multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA). A quantitative analysis of the proteome match coefficient showed a similarity of 79% between the clam isolates, whereas fish isolate showed similarities lower than 70%. A preliminary mass spectrometry (MS) assay allowed the identification of 27 proteins including 50S ribosomal protein L9, riboflavin synthase β subunit, ribose-phosphate pyrophosphokinase and succinyl-CoA synthase α subunit. The MLSA approach gave similar results, showing a 99.4% similarity of the clam isolates, which was higher than that observed between the fish isolate and either clam strain (98.2%). The topology of the maximum parsimony tree, obtained from 2D-PAGE analysis, and the phylogenetic tree, constructed with the maximum likelihood algorithm from concatenated sequences of 16S rRNA gene and five housekeeping genes (atpA, pyrH, recA, rpoA and rpoD), was very similar, confirming the closer relationship between the two clam isolates.