SUMMARY: DNA-DNA reassociation studies showed that strains had a genetic relatedness of 91 to 100% with inter-strain duplexes having high thermal stabilities. The only exception, strain NCTC10016, had an average relatedness of only 43% to other strains of The apparent divergence in DNA base sequence of this strain was reflected in the structural differences of some enzymes. There was a gradation of DNA relatedness among the group II-b strains, but three strains were sufficiently related to constitute a species. Low levels of genetic relatedness were confirmed between and strains of group II-b, group II-f, and All strains had base compositions in the range 32 to 46% guanine plus cytosine. The genome sizes of representative strains of and group II-b were 2.50 x 10 to 3.52 x 10 daltons, whereas the group II-f strains had smaller genomes of 1.64 x 10 to 1.81 x 10 daltons. The taxonomic implications of these findings are discussed.


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