GENETIC INTERRELATIONSHIPS OF PROTEOLYTIC CLOSTRIDIUM-BOTULINUM TYPE-A, TYPE-B, AND TYPE-F AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THE CLOSTRIDIUM-BOTULINUM COMPLEX AS REVEALED BY SMALL-SUBUNIT RIBOSOMAL-RNA GENE-SEQUENCES
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The phylogenetic interrelationships of members of the Clostridium botulinum complex of species was investigated by direct sequencing of their 16S rRNA genes. Comparative analysis of the 16S rRNA sequences demonstrated the presence of four phylogenetically distinct lineages corresponding to: i) proteolytic C. botulinum types Al B, and F, and C. sporogenes, ii) saccharolytic types B, E and F, iii) types C and D and C. novyi type A, and iv) type G and C. subterminale. The phylogenetic groupings obtained from the 16S rRNA were in complete agreement with the four divisions recognised within the 'species complex' on the basis of phenotypic criteria.