16S rDNA was sequenced from 16 strains of the oral commensal Simonsiella and was used to assess relationships between Simonsiella strains and other members of the Neisseriaceae. In all analyses, Simonsiella strains grouped according to established species designations and the mammalian hosts from which they were isolated. The commensals from cats and dogs formed a monophyletic group. The monophyly of the genus Simonsiella, however, could be neither supported nor rejected; deep nodes in the trees were unstable depending on the phylogenetic method or on the particular sequences used in the analysis. Instabilities may be attributable to frequent gene transfer between Neisseria or other members of the Neisseriaceae and Simonsiella.


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