Rickettsia buchneri sp. Nov., a rickettsial endosymbiont of the blacklegged tick ixodes scapularis

Timothy J. Kurtti, Roderick F. Felsheim, Nicole Y. Burkhardt, Jonathan D. Oliver, Chan C. Heu, Ulrike G. Munderloh

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85 Scopus citations


We obtained a rickettsial isolate from the ovaries of the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis. The isolate (ISO7T) was grown in the Ixodes ricinus embryonic cell line IRE11. We characterized the isolate by transmission electron microscopy and gene sequencing. Phylogenetic analysis of 11 housekeeping genes demonstrated that the isolate fulfils the criteria to be classified as a representative of a novel rickettsial species closely related to ‘Rickettsia monacensis’. These rickettsiae form a clade separate from other species of rickettsiae. Gene sequences indicated that several genes important in rickettsial motility, invasiveness and temperature adaptation were mutated (e.g. sca2, rickA, hsp22, pldA and htrA). We propose the name Rickettsia buchneri sp. nov. for this bacterium that infects the ovaries of the tick I. scapularis to acknowledge the pioneering contributions of Professor Paul Buchner (1886-1978) to research on bacterial symbionts. The type strain of R. buchneri sp. nov.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)965-970
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015

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