DNA reassociation, a comparative analysis of whole-cell protein patterns, and indirect immunofluorescence methods were used to determine the taxonomic relationships of thermophilic strains. On the basis of the results dendrograms showing degrees of similarity among the organisms were constructed. The organisms studied are members of three different groups. One group, whose members exhibit 10 to 40% cross-hybridization, includes ADZ, and IDZ. The second group contains M (T = type strain) and (levels of DNA relatedness, 30 to 45%). The third group, whose members exhibit 65 to 99% cross-hybridization, includes ΔH, F-1, and DV; Z-245; and AC60. The combination of three independent taxonomic methods showed that the group of strains studied is phenotypically, genotypically, and antigenically diverse. The most distinct organisms are and These species names should be adopted. The results of a DNA-DNA hybridization study (level of hybridization, 99%), an immunological analysis (+3 reaction), and a protein similarity study (level of similarity, 75%) indicate that should be reclassified as a synonym of


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