SUMMARY: The phylogenetic incoherency of the genus as presently described is demonstrated by analysis of both published and new data from comparative 16S rRNA cataloguing of nine species and a number of related non- taxa, i.e. . While the ellipsoidal-spore-forming bacilli, e.g. and allied species, formed a coherent cluster, the round-spore-forming bacilli showed a higher degree of relationship to the non-spore-forming organisms than these bacilli show among each other. Thus clustered with grouped with with , and with , respectively. These organisms formed two related subclusters which, in their phylogenetic depth, are comparable to that of the subline. With the exception of the 16S rRNA phylogeny was entirely consistent with the distribution of murein types. Even more distantly related to and grouping outside the main cluster was , which displayed a moderate relationship to . Taxonomic problems arising from the new insights into the intrageneric relationships of are discussed.


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