From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Burkholderia pseudomallei 01.jpg
B. pseudomallei colonies on a blood agar plate.
Scientific classification

Yabuuchi et al. 1993[1][2]
Type species
Burkholderia cepacia
(Palleroni and Holmes 1981) Yabuuchi et al. 1993

See text.

Burkholderia is a genus of Proteobacteria whose pathogenic members include the Burkholderia cepacia complex which attacks humans and Burkholderia mallei, responsible for glanders, a disease that occurs mostly in horses and related animals; Burkholderia pseudomallei, causative agent of melioidosis; and Burkholderia cepacia, an important pathogen of pulmonary infections in people with cystic fibrosis (CF).[3]

The Burkholderia (previously part of Pseudomonas) genus name refers to a group of virtually ubiquitous Gram-negative, obligately aerobic, rod-shaped bacteria that are motile by means of single or multiple polar flagella, with the exception of Burkholderia mallei which is nonmotile. Members belonging to the genus do not produce sheaths or prosthecae and are able to utilize poly-beta-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) for growth. The genus includes both animal and plant pathogens, as well as some environmentally important species. In particular, B. xenovorans (previously named Pseudomonas cepacia then B. cepacia and B. fungorum) is renowned for being catalase positive (affecting patients with chronic granulomatous disease) and its ability to degrade chlororganic pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The conserved RNA structure Anti-hemB RNA motif is found in all known bacteria in this genus.[4]

Due to their antibiotic resistance and the high mortality rate from their associated diseases, B. mallei and B. pseudomallei are considered to be potential biological warfare agents, targeting livestock and humans.


The genus was named after Walter H. Burkholder, plant pathologist at Cornell University. The first species to receive membership to the genus were transfers from the genus Pseudomonas, on the basis of various biochemical tests.[1][2]

Until recently, the genus Burkholderia was inclusive of all Paraburkholderia species.[5] However, the genus Paraburkholderia is phylogenetically distinct, and can be distinguished from all Burkholderia species on the premise of molecular signatures that are uniquely found for each genus.[6]


Burkholderia species form a monophyletic group within the Burkholderiales order of the Betaproteobacteria. There are currently 48 validly named species that can be distinguished from neighbouring genera (i.e. Paraburkholderia) and all other bacteria by conserved signature indels in a variety of proteins.[6] These indels represent exclusive common ancestry shared among all Burkholderia species.

Within the genus, there are three distinct monophyletic clusters. One group consists of all species belonging to the Burkholderia cepacia complex, another clade comprises B. pseudomallei and closely related species, and the last clade encompasses of most of the phytogenic species within the genus, including B. glumae and B. gladioli .[6] Conserved signature indels have also been discovered that are specific for each of these subgroups within the genus that aid in demarcating members of this extremely large and diverse genus.[6][7]


List of species:[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Yabuuchi E, Kosako Y, Oyaizu H, Yano I, Hotta H, Hashimoto Y, Ezaki T, Arakawa M (1992). "Proposal of Burkholderia gen. nov. and transfer of seven species of the genus Pseudomonas homology group II to the new genus, with the type species Burkholderia cepacia Palleroni and Holmes 1981 comb. nov". Microbiol Immunol. 36 (12): 1251–1275. doi:10.1111/j.1348-0421.1992.tb02129.x. PMID 1283774.
  2. ^ a b "Validation of the publication of new names and new combinations previously effectively published outside the IJSB—List No. 45". Int J Syst Bacteriol. 43 (2): 298–399. 1993. doi:10.1099/00207713-43-2-398.
  3. ^ Woods DE, Sokol PA. (2006). "The genus Burkholderia". In Dworkin M, Falkow S, Rosenberg E, Schleifer K-H, Stackebrandt E. (eds.). The Prokaryotes—A Handbook on the Biology of Bacteria (3 ed.). New York, NY: Springer–Verlag. pp. 848–860. doi:10.1007/0-387-30745-1_40. ISBN 978-0-387-25495-1.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link) CS1 maint: uses editors parameter (link)
  4. ^ Weinberg Z, Barrick JE, Yao Z, et al. (2007). "Identification of 22 candidate structured RNAs in bacteria using the CMfinder comparative genomics pipeline". Nucleic Acids Res. 35 (14): 4809–19. doi:10.1093/nar/gkm487. PMC 1950547. PMID 17621584.
  5. ^ Oren A, Garrity GM (2015). "List of new names and new combinations previously effectively, but not validly, published". Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 65 (7): 2017–2025. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.000317.
  6. ^ a b c d Sawana A, Adeolu M, Gupta RS (2014). "Molecular signatures and phylogenomic analysis of the genus Burkholderia: Proposal for division of this genus into the emended genus Burkholderia containing pathogenic organisms and a new genus Paraburkholderia gen. nov. harboring environmental species". Front Genet. 5: 429. doi:10.3389/fgene.2014.00429. PMC 4271702. PMID 25566316.
  7. ^ Gupta RS (2016). "Impact of genomics on the understanding of microbial evolution and classification: the importance of Darwin's views on classification". FEMS Microbiol Rev. 40 (4): 520–53. doi:10.1093/femsre/fuw011. PMID 27279642.
  8. ^ "List of prokaryotic names with standing in nomenclature". Retrieved 21 October 2016.

External links[edit]