The 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid sequences of the type strain and three other strains of , the type strains of subsp. , and , and a strain of were determined by direct sequencing of bacterial ribosomal ribonucleic acid by a modified Sanger method. These sequences were compared with previously published sequences of and and unpublished sequences of sp., , and All of the bacteria sequenced in this study were members of the beta group of the class , formerly called “purple bacteria and their relatives.” A phylogenetic tree was constructed based upon the sequence homologies. One of the findings of this study is that is related, as indicated by percentage of sequence homology, to the following organisms: (97.7%), (95.7%), (96.2%), (95.1%), (94.4%), (91.7%), and (89.8%). These bacteria constitute a newly recognized branch of the beta group The remaining species, including , and subsp. , are members of the major cluster of the beta group On the basis of our data we propose that the genera and be placed in the family


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