We performed hybridizations between labeled rRNAs from seven representative members of the family and from three other taxa on the one hand and DNAs from 53 strains known or presumed to belong to the on the other hand. The members of the are most closely related to members of the , the , the , and the genus . The family is very heterogeneous. There are at least seven rRNA branches. Several organisms with the same genus name are dispersed over the entire dendrogram. The [] , and [] rRNA branches are separate and quite remote from the three authentic genera in this family; this might justify eventual later separate generic status. DNA-rRNA hybridization with suitable, labeled rRNA probes is an excellent method to establish whether an organism belongs in the ; e.g., some strains of Bisgaard's taxa 7, 13, and 16 and of the gas-producing “SP” group certainly belong in this family, whereas three bovine lymphangitis organisms (strains NCTC 10547, NCTC 10549, and NCTC 10553), [] ATCC 10801 (T = type strain), and [] ATCC 17911 belong in the , the , and the , respectively.


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