Summary: The genes encoding the β-subunits of ATP-synthases (ATPases) from DSM 2151, DSM 2039 and ‘’ were cloned. The nucleotide sequences were determined completely for the genes of the first two organisms and to a major part for that of ‘’. The predicted amino acid sequences were compared with previously published amino acid sequences of β-subunits. Two characteristic insertions were found in genes from organisms belonging to the so-called bacteroides-cytophaga-flavo-bacterium group. The remaining structure shows a high degree of sequence similarity within this group. These data support the conclusions drawn from comparative 16S rRNA sequence analyses that organisms in this phenotypically heterogeneous group are phylogenetically related. A phylogenetic tree was constructed based on a distance matrix of optimally aligned amino acid sequences of β-subunits of ATPases of various eubacteria, chloroplasts and mitochondria. It is in good agreement with a tree derived from 16S rRNA sequence analyses.


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