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Comparative Study
, 9 (4), 305-11

An Ancient Divergence Among the Bacteria

Comparative Study

An Ancient Divergence Among the Bacteria

W E Balch et al. J Mol Evol.


The 16S ribosomal RNAs from two species of methanogenic bacteria, the mesophile Methanobacterium ruminantium and the thermophile Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum, have been characterized in terms of the oligonucleotides produced by digestion with T1 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 as Escherichia, Bacillus and Anacystis. The divergence of the methanogenic 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.

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