We obtained 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequence data for strains belonging to 11 species of , including the type strains of subsp. , [] , [] , and , as well as strains of and The data in a distance matrix constructed by comparing the sequences supported the proposal that the genera and and [] should be excluded from the family Our results are consistent with hybridization data which suggest that these excluded taxa should be part of a new family, the The strains that we studied can be divided into the following five groups: (i) subsp. , [] , and ; (ii) ; (iii) [] ; (iv) and ; and (v) , and We agree with the previous proposal that [] should be renamed , as this organism is closely related to species and not to species. The generically misnamed taxon [] belongs to the proposed family , but it is sufficiently different to warrant exclusion from the genus Further work needs to be done to investigate genetically similar species, such as , before the true generic position of this organism can be determined. Automated 16S rDNA sequencing with the PCR allows workers to accurately determine phylogenetic relationships between groups of organisms. This method is quicker and less complex than nucleic acid hybridization, produces similar results, and has the advantage that 16S rDNA sequence information for different species can be directly compared.


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