A 1341 bp sequence of the 16S rDNA of an undescribed species of Pasteuria that parasitizes the soybean cyst nematode, Heterodera glycines, was determined and then compared with a homologous sequence of Pasteuria ramosa, a parasite of cladoceran water fleas of the family Daphnidae. The two Pasteuria sequences, which diverged from each other by a dissimilarity index of 7%, also were compared with the 16S rDNA sequences of 30 other bacterial species to determine the phylogenetic position of the genus Pasteuria among the Gram-positive eubacteria. Phylogenetic analyses using maximum-likelihood, maximum-parsimony and neighbour-joining methods showed that the Heterodera glycines-infecting Pasteuria and its sister species, P. ramosa, form a distinct line of descent within the Alicyclobacillus group of the Bacillaceae. These results are consistent with the view that the genus Pasteuria is a deeply rooted member of the Clostridium-Bacillus-Streptococcus branch of the Gram-positive eubacteria, neither related to the actinomycetes nor closely related to true endospore-forming bacteria.


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