Almost complete 16S rRNA gene sequences were generated for the type strains of the obligate insect pathogens and and a second strain of (NRRL B-4081) received as var. ’. A phylogenetic tree was constructed which grouped these strains into a well defined subcluster within the genus NRRL B-4081 occupied an intermediate position between the type strains of and but with a marked clustering to the latter. The phylogenetic assignment of these strains to is in contrast to earlier studies which placed these bacteria in the genus , close to . Indeed, the rRNA sequences generated in this study share less than 88% similarity to the deposited sequences for ATCC 14706and ATCC 14707. The results obtained by using different tree algorithms, bootstrap analysis, branch lengths and verification by signature nucleotide analysis supported the reclassification of these species in the genus comb. nov. and comb. nov.


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