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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]   
Old 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:2015-12-03

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