The 16S ribosomal DNA sequences of representative members of the family were determined. The members of the family examined were divided into the following four phylogenetic groups: ATCC 27731 (T = type strain), the group, the ruminococcus-coprococcus group, and the peptostreptococcus group. , the type species of the family, was not related to other members of the family. ATCC 27337, the type strain of the type species of the genus , was closely related to NCIB 10717 (level of sequence similarity, 85%). GIFU 7886, a spore-forming anaerobic gram-positive coccus, clustered with ATCC 13124 at a similarity value of 91%. Members of the group clustered with clostridia at similarity values ranging from 85 to 91%. The type strains of , and clustered at levels of sequence homology of 84 to 93%. This cluster was not included in the group or the group. Thus, these members of the genus should be separated from the other members of the genus and also from members of the family . The sequence of ATCC 27340 was different from the sequences of and . The sequence of ATCC 27752, a strictly anaerobic strain, was different from the sequences of other streptococci; this strain clustered with , coprococci, and ruminococci. Several phenotypic characteristics of ATCC 27752 were similar to characteristics of ruminococci. These organisms require fermentable carbohydrates and do not produce butyric acid from glucose. Thus, we propose that and should be transferred to the genus .


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