The 23S rDNA sequences of and and the sequences of the spacer regions between the 16S and 23S rRNA genes were determined. The overall 23S rDNA sequence identity between and was 99·7% (nine mismatches), showing the very close relatedness of these mycobacteria. Evolutionary distances between the five known mycobacterial 23S rRNA/rDNA sequences and those of other Gram-positive G + C-rich bacteria were determined. The 23S rDNA sequences of mycobacteria showed two inserted regions compared to the other bacteria. A mycobacterial unique region contained one mismatch between and An -specific insertion, consisting of 111 nucleotides, was completely identical for and The sequence of the intergenic spacer region between 16S and 23S rDNA had a length of 278 bp for and with only two mismatches. The spacer region of the fast-growing was 85 bp longer. No tRNA-encoding region was found in the spacer region.


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