Data_Sheet_1_A Polyphasic and Taxogenomic Evaluation Uncovers Arcobacter cryaerophilus as a Species Complex That Embraces Four Genomovars.XLSX

The species Arcobacter cryaerophilus is found in many food products of animal origin and is the dominating species in wastewater. In addition, it is associated with cases of farm animal and human infectious diseases,. The species embraces two subgroups i.e., 1A (LMG 24291T = LMG 9904T) and 1B (LMG 10829) that can be differentiated by their 16S rRNA-RFLP pattern. However, some authors, on the basis of the shared intermediate levels of DNA-DNA hybridization, have suggested abandoning the subgroup classification. This contradiction indicates that the taxonomy of this species is not yet resolved. The objective of the present study was to perform a taxonomic evaluation of the diversity of A. cryaerophilus. Genomic information was used along with a Multilocus Phylogenetic Analysis (MLPA) and phenotypic characterization on a group of 52 temporally and geographically dispersed strains, coming from different types of samples and hosts from nine countries. The MLPA analysis showed that those strains formed four clusters (I–IV). Values of Average Nucleotide Identity (ANI) and in silico DNA-DNA Hybridization (isDDH) obtained between 13 genomes representing strains of the four clusters were below the proposed cut-offs of 96 and 70%, respectively, confirming that each of the clusters represented a different genomic species. However, none of the evaluated phenotypic tests enabled their unequivocal differentiation into species. Therefore, the genomic delimited clusters should be considered genomovars of the species A. cryaerophilus. These genomovars could have different clinical importance, since only the cluster I included strains isolated from human specimens. The discovery of at least one stable distinctive phenotypic character would be needed to define each cluster or genomovar as a different species. Until then, we propose naming them “A. cryaerophilus gv. pseudocryaerophilus” (Cluster I = LMG 10229T), “A. cryaerophilus gv. crypticus” (Cluster II = LMG 9065T), “A. cryaerophilus gv. cryaerophilus” (Cluster III = LMG 24291T) and “A. cryaerophilus gv. occultus” (Cluster IV = LMG 29976T).