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The family Nocardiaceae

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Michael Goodfellow


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© 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. All rights are reserved.The family Nocardiaceae, a member of the order Corynebacteriales, encompasses eight phylogenetically closely related genera, that can be distinguished using a combination of chemotaxonomic, morphological, and physiological criteria. The genus Prescottella and, its constituent species, Prescotella equi (formerly Rhodococcus equi) have still to be validated though their taxonomic integrity is supported by genotypic and phenotypic data, including results from comparative genomic analyses. Nocardiaceae strains are widely distributed in aquatic and terrestrial habitats, notably soil and as constituents of foam and mixed liquors in activated sludge wastewater treatment plants. In general, members of the family are considered to have a saprophytic lifestyle though it is becoming increasingly evident that they should be seen as opportunistic pathogens when isolated from clinical material. Some Nocardia species are causal agents of two serious diseases, nocardiosis and actinomycetoma. These and other infections are probably underreported due to the lack of reliable selective isolation and identification procedures. Prescottella equi is a facultative intracellular pathogen that causes severe suppurative bronchopneumonia in foals, while Rhodococcus fascians is a soil-borne pathogen that induces the formation of differentiated galls in many herbaceous plants. The application of comparative genomic, genetic, and molecular biological studies show that Gordonia, Nocardia, and Rhodococcus strains exhibit remarkable metabolic diversity that can be exploited for a broad range of biotechnological purposes. It is also evident that these genera are grossly underspeciated.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Goodfellow M

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: The Prokaryotes: Actinobacteria

Year: 2014

Pages: 595-650

Print publication date: 18/11/2014

Online publication date: 01/11/2014

Acceptance date: 01/01/1900

Publisher: Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

Place Published: Berlin


DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-30138-4_404

Notes: 9783642301377 Hardback ISBN

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9783642301384