In the year 2002, , and were unified into a single species, , preserving the former species names through the creation of the three biotypes ‘longum’, ‘infantis’ and ‘suis’. Consequently, the use of the species names and was to be discontinued. The above taxonomic rearrangement of was based on DNA–DNA hybridizations and 16S rRNA and HSP60 gene sequence analysis. However, a variety of other genotypic techniques including ribotyping, amplified rDNA restriction analysis (ARDRA), randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD)-PCR, BOX-PCR, PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), comparison of the , and gene sequences, plasmid profiling and considerable variation in carbohydrate fermentation patterns as well as results of starch and PAGE electrophoresis experiments clearly discriminate former , and strains. In the present paper we compile this published information and propose the description of subsp. subsp. nov., subsp. comb. nov. and subsp. comb. nov. The International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes Subcommittee on the taxonomy of , and related organisms is in favour of this proposal. The type strains of subsp. subsp. nov., subsp. comb. nov. and subsp. comb. nov. are E194b (variant a) (ATCC 15707=DSM 20219), S12 (=ATCC 15697=DSM 20088) and Su859 (ATCC 27533=DSM 20211), respectively.


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