Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 305–311 | Cite as

An ancient divergence among the bacteria

  • William E. Balch
  • Linda J. Magrum
  • George E. Fox
  • Ralph S. Wolfe
  • Carl R. Woese
Article

Summary

The 16S ribosomal RNAs from two species of methanogenic bacteria, the mesophileMethanobacterium ruminantium and the thermophileMethanobacterium thermoautotropbicum, have been characterized in terms of the oligonucleotides produced by digestion withT1 ribonuclease. These two organisms are found to be sufficiently related that they can be considered members of the same genus or family. However, they bear only slight resemblance to “typical” Procaryotic genera; such asEschericbia, Bacillus andAnacystis. The divergence of the methanogeinc bacteria from other bacteria may be the most ancient phylogenetic event yet detected — antedating considerably the divergence of the blue green algal line for example, from the main bacterial line.

Key words

Comparative cataloging Methanogenic bacteria Phylogeny 16S ribosomal RNA Evolution 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • William E. Balch
    • 1
  • Linda J. Magrum
    • 2
  • George E. Fox
    • 2
  • Ralph S. Wolfe
    • 1
  • Carl R. Woese
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Departments of MicrobiologyUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA
  2. 2.Genetics and DevelopmentUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA

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