Strains of the genus were compared by ribosomal ribonucleic acid homology (16S and 23S). The strains examined represented all species in the genus, as well as several unnamed organisms which had negligible deoxyribonucleic acid homology with each other or with any of the named species. The organisms which we studied formed three clusters with average intracluster homology values of 90 to 100% and an average intercluster homology value of 60 to 70%. , and belonged to one cluster. , and strains VPI 12095, VPI 1148B, and VPI 7944 belonged to a second cluster, whereas the two strains belonging to the “3312A” homology group represented the third cluster. Although some of the species, as defined by deoxyribonucleic acid homology, are associated with specific host animals, this relationship does not appear to extend to the ribosomal ribonucleic acid homology clusters. For example, strains of and were isolated exclusively from hamsters but belonged to separate ribosomal ribonucleic acid homology clusters.


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