Nine strains of motile, anaerobic, nonsporeforming, gram-negative bacteria were isolated from human lesions of adult and juvenile periodontitis and compared with type strains ATCC 29863, ATCC 33150, ATCC 12561, and ATCC 29359. The cells of our isolates were long and serpentine and appeared to be bilaterally flagellated when they were examined by dark-field microscopy, giving the cells a centipede-like appearance. Electron microscopic studies showed the presence of a linear zone of flagellar insertions which spiraled around the cell body. Cultures were fermentative and produced propionic, acetic, lactic, and succinic acids. The guanine-plus-cytosine contents of the deoxyribonucleic acids of three isolates ranged from 52 to 54 mol%, as determined by the thermal denaturation method. All strains had 58 to 100% deoxyribonucleic acid homology with one another, but only 14% or less homology with the deoxyribonucleic acids of three previously described species. We propose the name gen. nov., sp. nov. for these organisms; strain LL2383 (= ATCC 35019) is the type strain.


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