Sixteen strains of cultivable mycobacteria were grown in Sauton's medium, and was purified from armadillo liver. Cell extracts were prepared from log-phase growths of each of the cultivable mycobacterial strains. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) enzyme was purified from all cultivable mycobacterial strains included in the study, and antibodies against purified SOD enzyme were raised in rabbits. Immunological distances (ImDs) between these anti-SOD antibodies and SOD antigens were determined by a previously described immunoprecipitation method and by a recently developed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique. The reciprocal ImDs among mycobacterial strains were constant, reproducible and consistent by these two methods. An evolutionary tree was constructed on the basis of estimated ImDs. Except for and , slowly and rapidly growing mycobacterial species appeared to be separately grouped by this analysis. Rapid growers clustered into a group which is near that of some slow-growing mycobacteria. falls almost in the middle of the evolutionary tree and the position of was found to be between those of and BCG. Measurement of immunological relatedness of SODs provides an alternative system with which to study the taxonomical relatedness among mycobacteria.


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