Divergence without difference: phylogenetics and taxonomy of Chlamydia resolved

FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2009 Mar;55(2):115-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-695X.2008.00516.x.


Members of Chlamydiaceae have been extensively characterized by complete genome sequencing. This information provides new understanding concerning their natural evolutionary history. Comparative genome analysis is consistent with the conclusion that host-divergent strains of Chlamydiae are closely related biologically and ecologically. The previous taxonomic separation of the genus based on ribosomal sequences is neither consistent with the natural history of the organism revealed by genome comparisons, nor widely used by the Chlamydia research community 8 years after its introduction; thus, it is proposed to reunite the Chlamydiaceae into a single genus, Chlamydia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chlamydia / classification*
  • Chlamydia / genetics*
  • Chlamydia / physiology
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*


  • DNA, Bacterial