By Norman R. Pace, David A. Stahl, David J. Lane (auth.), K. C. Marshall (eds.)
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The closest relatives of the symbionts among the free-living, sulfur-oxdizing chemoautotrophs in our 58 sequence collection are Thiomicrospira pelophila and L-12 (a Thioniicrospira-like hydrothermal vent isolate; Ruby and Jannasch, 1982). The marine invertebrates inspected, Riftia, Calyptogena, and Solemya, each of course yielded a eucaryotic (host) 5S rRNA in addition to that of the symbionts. The 58 rRNA sequence homologies of the host Analysis of Microbial Populations by rRNA Sequences 25 animals with some other closely related invertebrates (a mussel, Mytilus; a brachiopod, Lingula; a snail, Arion; and two annelids, Sabellastarte and Perinereis), and Drosophila are presented as a homology matrix (Table 1).
Pace et al. so-called "sulfur-metabolizing (dependent)" branch of the archaebacteria, a physiologically diverse assemblage (Stetter and Zillig, 1985). Representatives of the genus Sulfolobus grow heterotrophically or as sulfur-oxidizing autotrophs. Other members of this branch grow by sulfurdependent respiration of hydrogen or organic compounds, either heterotrophically or autotrophically. The discovery of a representative of this assemblage in an alkaline source·is noteworthy. There so far has been no successful isolation of a phylogenetically close relative of the sulfur-metabolizing archaebacteria from an alkaline environment and, until recently, this line of descent was termed the thermoacidophilic branch of the archaebacteria.
The inspected archaebacteria, for instance, have single copies of the rRNA genes; eubacteria commonly have 5-10 rDNA copies; and eucaryotes may have hundreds. Nonetheless, the amount of a specific rDNA in a mixed population likely reflects the contribution of that organism to the local metabolic potential. 7. 168 rRNA versus 58 rRNA as a Phylogenetic Tool The question arises as to whether phylogenetic relationships inferred using 5S rRNA are the same as those derived using 16S rRNA sequences. Since phylogenetic relationships are defined by sequence homologies, this question reduces to one of whether 5S and 16S rRNA sequences diverge concomitantly.