is morphologically similar to caulobacters; however, it lacks a dimorphic life cycle. To determine the relatedness of the genus to dimorphic caulobacters and other prosthecate members of the α subgroup of the (α-), we isolated and sequenced 16S rRNA genes from four strains. Surprisingly, the results of phylogenetic analyses placed the fusiform caulobacters in a deeply rooted division of the that was most closely affiliated with the group and only distantly related to the α- The genus shares a common lineage in this division with , a polyprosthecate, heterotrophic bacterium. Consistent with this phylogenetic placement, menaquinones were isolated from strains and menaquinones have been isolated from strains and planctomycetes but not from members of the α- Thus, the genus is a second genus in the recently described order Members of the genus are susceptible to β-lactam antibiotics and contain -diaminopimelic acid, indicating that they, unlike members of the or , have peptidoglycan cell walls. This major phenotypic difference, together with the phylogenetic independence of the verrucomicrobia, indicates that these bacteria and the sources of related 16S ribosomal DNAs obtained from soils, freshwater, and the marine pelagic environment represent an unrecognized division of the .


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