We explored the potentialities of the method for the pseudomonad taxonomic purpose at the genus and species level.
Emission spectra of three intrinsic fluorophores (namely, NADH, tryptophan, and the complex of aromatic amino acids and nucleic acid) were collected from whole bacterial cells.
Their comparisons were performed through principal component analysis and factorial discriminant analysis.
Reference strains from the Xanthomonas, Stenotrophomonas, Burkholderia, and Pseudomonas genera were well separated, with sensitivity and selectivity higher than 90%. At the species level, P. lundensis, P. taetrolens, P. fragi, P. chlororaphis, and P. stutzeri were also well separated, in a distant group, from P. putida, P. pseudoalcaligenes, and P. fluorescens.
These results are in agreement with the generally admitted rRNA and DNA bacterial homology grouping but they also provide additional information about strain relatedness.
In the case of environmental isolates, the method allows good discrimination, even for strains for which ambiguity still remained after PCR and API 20NE identification. Rapid, easy to perform, and low cost, fluorescence spectroscopy provides substantial information on cell components.
Statistical analysis of collected data allows in-depth comparison of strains.
Our results strongly support the view that fluorescence spectroscopy fingerprinting can be used as a powerful tool in a polyphasic approach to pseudomonad taxonomy.