The taxonomic status of the anaerobe has for some time been uncertain. To resolve this uncertainty, the distal portion of a 16S rRNA gene from this important ovine pathogen was cloned, mapped, and sequenced. A comparison of the sequence with the sequences of 16S rRNA molecules from other bacteria indicated that is more closely related to and other members of the class than to or the bacteroides-flavobacterium-cytophaga phylum. The evidence from the comparison of sequence signatures suggests that is not a member of the genus but that it belongs in subgroup γ of the class .


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