The small-subunit rRNA (16S rRNA) sequence of Tyzzer's bacillus (also known as 'Bacillus piliformis') was elucidated by using the polymerase chain reaction followed by reverse transcriptase sequencing. By using maximum- likelihood analysis, a phylogenetic tree was constructed from this and other 16S rRNA sequences available from the first release of the Ribosomal Database Project (G. J. Olsen, R. Overbeek, N. Larsen, T. L. Marsh, M. J. McCaughey, M. A. Maciukenas, W.-M. Kuan, T. J. Macke, Y. Xing, and C. R. Woese, Nucleic Acids Res. 20:2199-2200, 1992). Tyzzer's bacillus grouped with a specific set of anaerobic bacteria, most of which are Clostridium spp. The closest identified relatives are Clostridium coccoides, Clostridium oroticum, Clostridium clostridiiforme, Clostridium symbiosum, and Streptococcus hansenii. Clostridium amino-valericum and 'Acetitomaculum ruminis' are also solidly allied with this ensemble. We propose that Tyzzer's bacillus be reclassified as Clostridium piliforme on the basis of its 16S rRNA sequence.
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