The phylogenetic relationships of 50 reference strains, mostly marine bacteria which require Na+ for growth, were determined on the basis of 600 16S rRNA nucleotides by using reverse transcriptase sequencing. Strains belonging to 10 genera were included (four genera of the family Vibrionaceae, the genus Aeromonas of the family Aeromonadaceae, and the genera Alteromonas, Marinomonas, Shewanella, Pseudomonas, and Deleya). The sequences were aligned, the similarity values and evolutionary distance values were determined, and a phylogenetic tree was constructed by using the neighbor-joining method. On the basis of our results, the family Vibrionaceae was separated into at least seven groups (genera and families). Vibrio marinus clearly was on a line of descent that was remote from other vibrios. As determined by the similarity and evolutionary distance values, V. marinus is more distantly related to the family Vibrionaceae than the members of the Aeromonadaceae are. Also, Vibrio cholerae strains formed a separate group with Vibrio mimicus at the genus level. Of 30 species of the Vibrionaceae, 17 formed a large phylogenetic cluster. The genus Listonella was found to be a heterogeneous group, and the species were distributed in various subgroups of the Vibrionaceae. The separation of the family Aeromonadaceae from the family Vibrionaceae and the separation of the genera Marinomonas and Shewanella from the genus Alteromonas were confirmed in this phylogenetic study. However, a marine Pseudomonas species, Pseudomonas nautica, was clearly separated from two terrestrial Pseudomonas species. Each group that was separated by the phylogenetic analysis had characteristic 16S rRNA sequence patterns that were common only to species in that group. Therefore, the characteristic sequences described in this paper may be useful for identification purposes.