The complete 2,343,479-bp genome sequence of the gram-negative, pathogenic oral bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis strain W83, a major contributor to periodontal disease, was determined. Whole-genome comparative analysis with other available complete genome sequences confirms the close relationship between the Cytophaga-Flavobacteria-Bacteroides (CFB) phylum and the green-sulfur bacteria. Within the CFB phyla, the genomes most similar to that of P. gingivalis are those of Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron and B. fragilis. Outside of the CFB phyla the most similar genome to P. gingivalis is that of Chlorobium tepidum, supporting the previous phylogenetic studies that indicated that the Chlorobia and CFB phyla are related, albeit distantly. Genome analysis of strain W83 reveals a range of pathways and virulence determinants that relate to the novel biology of this oral pathogen. Among these determinants are at least six putative hemagglutinin-like genes and 36 previously unidentified peptidases. Genome analysis also reveals that P. gingivalis can metabolize a range of amino acids and generate a number of metabolic end products that are toxic to the human host or human gingival tissue and contribute to the development of periodontal disease.