Summary: We compared 22 species by DNA-DNA homology studies using the S1 endonuclease method. None of the currently defined species shared more than 30% DNA homology with any other species examined with the exception of and (which along with are now considered a single species), which shared 86% of their DNA sequences. Two clusters showed weak genetic relationships, with DNA homology > 10%. The first cluster included and . The second cluster included and . Five of the oral species, and , were chosen for study as whole chromosomal probes in dot blot assays. These were tested against 243 clinical strains biochemically identified as species. The DNA probes correctly identified 94% of the clinical strains. DNA probe and biochemical identification was 100% for two of the five species. In contrast, only 86% of the strains biochemically identified as were identified by the DNA probe. The DNA probes gave a species identification to seven strains which could not be biochemically identified.


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