A common origin of rickettsiae and certain plant pathogens

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Science  01 Nov 1985:
Vol. 230, Issue 4725, pp. 556-558
DOI: 10.1126/science.3931222


On the basis of ribosomal RNA sequence comparisons, the rickettsia Rochalimaea quintana has been found to be a member of subgroup 2 of the alpha subdivision of the so-called purple bacteria, which is one of about ten major eubacterial divisions. Within subgroup alpha-2, R. quintana is specifically related to the agrobacteria and rhizobacteria, organisms that also have close associations with eukaryotic cells. This genealogical grouping of the rickettsiae with certain plant pathogens and intracellular symbionts suggests a possible evolution of the rickettsiae from plant-associated bacteria.

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