Twelve strains of halophilic, methylotrophic, methanogenic bacteria, including the type strains of the validly published species , and , as well as the type strain of , were compared on the basis of DNA-DNA hybridization and phenotypic characteristics. Two groups (moderately halophilic strains and extremely halophilic strains) were formed on the basis of G+C contents and DNA-DNA hybridization data. Type strain SLP of and type strain Z-7982 of exhibited 87% sequence similarity and belong to the same genus (), if not to the same species. A regulation of the implies that the specific epithet has priority by validation and should be retained. Therefore, we propose that should be transferred to the genus as comb. nov. (type strain, strain Z-7982 [= DSM 3094 = OCM 160]); an emended description is given. Moderately halophilic strains TR-7, Z-7404, and Z-7405, which were isolated from geographically separated sites, exhibited high levels of DNA-DNA hybridization with and might be regarded as strains of the same species. The alkaliphilic organism is a valid species in the genus . The extremely halophilic organism exhibited no significant DNA-DNA hybridization with moderately halophilic species and should be regarded as a member of an independent genus. Other extremely halophilic strains (strains Z-7408 and Z-7403) exhibited low levels of DNA-DNA hybridization with Z-7303 (= DSM 3721) (T = type strain).


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