Summary: Thirty-two strains originally identified as and were screened for their taxonomic homogeneity by SDS-PAGE of whole-cell proteins. After numerical comparison of the resulting protein electrophoretic fingerprints, two well-delineated clusters were detected. The majority of the strains grouped in one electrophoretic cluster, which contained the type strain of and corresponds to DNA group A1 of Johnson, J. L., Phelps, C. F., Cummins, C. S., London, J. & Gasser, F. (1980; 30, 53–68). Another cluster corresponded to DNA group B. It contained two subclusters, which agreed perfectly with DNA subgroups B1 () and B2 (), respectively. The 23S rRNA genes were partially sequenced and 23S-rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes were designed for identification of DNA groups A1, B1 and B2. Probe Lbg reacted with all strains of electrophoretic cluster B1 (), probe Lbj hybridized with strains of cluster B2 () and probe Lba with strains of cluster A1 (authentic ). The probes were successfully used for the identification of strains belonging to the respective species. The phylogenetic relationship of a representative of was determined by comparative sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA genes. It is very closely related to .


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