Armadillos are used for propagation of and are hosts of mycobacteria of the ADM (armadillo-derived mycobacteria) group. The deoxyribonucleic acids (DNAs) of isolates of the five phenetic subgroups of the ADM were analyzed and compared with the genomes of related bacteria. The guanine-pluscytosine (G+C) contents of the DNAs were 62.2 to 67.1 mol% for different ADM strains, 56 mol% for and LDC (leprosy-derived corynebacteria), and 62 to 71 mol% for reference mycobacteria. Restriction analysis showed neither adenine methylation in the GATC site (a specific trait of LDC strains) nor cytosine methylation in the CCGG and GGCC sites. Hybridization higher than 80% was obtained with DNA from isolates within the same ADM subgroups, whereas 17 to 50% hybridizations were observed with organisms from different ADM subgroups. Genomes of ADM strains and reference mycobacteria were 15 to 40% homologous, except for subgroups IV and V, whose DNAs were 54 to 62% homologous with DNA. Little or no homology between and ADM genomes was found. We concluded that single ADM subgroups can be considered as distinct species within the genus ; they are genetically unrelated to the other leprosy-associated bacteria.


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