Summary: Following a recent phylogenetic analysis of all 39 species of the genus and related organisms, the name has been proposed for bacteria previously considered either as or as -like amoebal pathogens’ (LLAPs). To investigate the phylogenetic integrity of this newly proposed species, we determined the 16S rRNA gene sequences of 10 LLAPs isolated from various environmental sources. All 10 isolates clustered within a monophyletic group containing all other members of the genus Eight of the 10 isolates formed a monophyletic subgroup within the genus which also included the two previously characterized strains. Four of these 10 isolates shared a specific and very close relationship with the type strain (> 99% sequence similarity). However, although clearly legionellae, the remaining two LLAP strains bore no specific evolutionary relationship to either or any other species (<96% sequence similarity). Both isolates lay on their own relatively deep-rooted branches within the radiation of the cluster. LLAPs do not therefore, represent a unique species or even a single line of descent within the genus, and investigation of more isolates may reveal them to be as evolutionarily diverse as the other presently recognized species.


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