-like strains whose taxonomic position is uncertain were examined in detail. The lecithinases of these strains exhibited less avidity to the alpha-antitoxin of than did the lecithinase. On the basis of a computer analysis, the -like strains were grouped into two phenons, I and III, both of which are distinctly separable from (phenon II). Strains previously identified by us as belonging to Nakamura et al. 1970, including strain G (= ATCC 27639), here designated as the type strain of were found to belong to phenon I, and the strains of phenon III are regarded as constituting a new species, for which we propose the name . The type strain of is HA-7103 (= ATCC 27555). The main characters differentiating from are as follows: produces a lecithinase which exhibits extremely low avidity to alpha-antitoxin, rapidly ferments salicin, does not ferment raffinose, and does not liquefy 10% gelatin; the main characters of which differentiate it from phenon I strains are: Larger cell width, a distinctly stronger lecithinase reaction, liquefaction of 2% gelatin, production of butanol, and weak toxicity for mice. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)-DNA homology studies of phenons I, II, and III confirmed the validity of the above-mentioned groupings. A computer analysis of other saccharolytic clostridia revealed that and are associated by similarity values higher than 90% and that and constitute separate, but closely related, taxa.


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