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Syst Appl Microbiol. 1984;5:315-26.

The phylogeny of purple bacteria: the alpha subdivision.

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  • 1Department of Genetics and Development, University of Illinois, Urbana 61801, USA.


The technique of oligonucleotide cataloging shows the purple photosynthetic eubacteria to comprise three major subdivisions, temporarily called alpha, beta, and gamma--previously designated groups I-III by Gibson et al. (1979). Each subdivision contains a number of non-photosynthetic genera in addition to the photosynthetic ones. The alpha subdivision, the subject of the present report, contains most but not all of the species that fall into the classically defined genera Rhodospirillum, Rhodopseudomonas and Rhodomicrobium. Intermingled with these are a variety of non-photosynthetic species from genera such as Agrobacterium, Rhizobium, Azospirillum, Nitrobacter, Erythrobacter, Phenylobacterium, Aquaspirillum, and Paracoccus. The phylogenetic substructure of the alpha subdivision is presented and the evolutionary significance of the admixture of biochemical phenotypes is discussed.

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