Complete nucleotide sequences of the 16S rDNAs were determined from and species, including all available type strains and some additional isolates. The distance-matrix analysis and the dendrogram for estimating the genetic relationships revealed that the investigated strains were found in two major clusters within the . One cluster comprises all species, and several isolates related to . Representatives of the species and , the so called ‘ group’, are very closely related, justifying their inclusion into one genus, , for which an emended description is presented. and formed two separate lines of descent with less than 93% (89·6–92·9%) similarity to strains of the ‘ group’. Therefore, they will be considered as two separate genera. As a consequence, an emended description is presented for the genus , with as the new type species and is transferred to gen. nov., comb. nov. Two species, and , which have been classified with the genus because of their morphological properties, were found within another major cluster of the and are only distantly phylogenetically related to the first cluster with 88·4–90·6% and 90·4–92·2% sequence similarity, respectively.


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