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Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Veterinary bacteriology: information about important bacteria
Veterinary bacteriology


Species/Subspecies: Melissococcus plutonius
Etymology: Genus name: The coccus of the bee.
Species epithet: named after the god Pluto in Roman mythology.
Significance:The disease occurs almost world wide, but is rarely reported from Sweden.
  [Of minor importance]   
Alternative Species Name(s):Melissococcus pluton
Taxonomy:
Phylum
Firmicutes
Class
Bacilli
Order
Lactobacillales
Family
Enterococcaceae 
Genus
Melissococcus
Type Strain: ATCC 35311
Macromorphology (smell):
 
It produces small, white, shiny and well-defined colonies
Micromorphology:
 
Non-motile cocci in pairs or chains.
Gram +/Gram -:
 
G+
Metabolism: Anaerobic
Catalase/Oxidase:-/?
Biochemical Tests: Citrate -
Fermentation of carbohydrates:
D-glucoselactosemaltoseL-rhamnosesucrose
+?v?v
L-arabinosecellobioseD-mannitolsalicintrehalose
???v?
glycerolinulinraffinoseD-sorbitolstarch
?????
Other carbohydrates: Fructose +.
Spec. Char.: Optimal growth temperature: 35°C.
Special Media:
Melissococcus plutonius  
Cultivated under anaerobic conditions on basal medium agar.
Disease:European Foulbrood of honeybees.
Hosts: Honey bee (Apis mellifera)
Clinical Picture: The bacteria attacks the young larvae in the open cells. You will find 3-4 days old larvae moved from the cells, as well as dead, limp and brown larvae.
Genome Sequence:
Acc-noStrainSize (bp)Genome
AP012200 ATCC 35311T 1 891 014 1c + 1c 
At least two strains have been sequenced and both of these carry one plasmid each.

16S rRNA Seq.:
Acc-noStrainNumber of NTOperon
X75751 (T) 1396 

Taxonomy/phylogeny:
 
Only one species (M. plutonius) has been described in genus Melissococcus and this genus is closely related genus Enterococcus. Thus, these genera are affiliated to the order Lactobacillales.
Legislation: The disease is not covered by the bee disease law in Sweden.
Comment:The disease is not as serious as American foulbrood (see Paenibacillus larvae).
Reference(s): No. 84, 97
Link: En översyn av lagstiftningen om bisjukdomar.
Updated:2022-09-29

News

New names of taxa within the classification category phylum

During October 2021, an article was published by A. Oren och G.M. Garrity, in which new names are proposed for a number of taxa within the classification category phylum. This has resulted in many discussions in social media about whether it was really necessary to make these changes, which have created confusion among microbiologists and other professionals who come into contact with bacteriology.

Published 2022-09-28. Read more...

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