The 16S ribosomal DNA sequence of Chlamydia pneumoniae was determined and compared with the corresponding gene sequences of Chlamydia psittaci and Chlamydia trachomatis. C. pneumoniae has been reported to exhibit little chromosomal DNA homology with the other chlamydial species, and its phylogenetic relationships within the genus Chlamydia have not been described. A polymerase chain reaction was employed to determine the 16S rRNA gene sequence of C. pneumoniae. Ten primers from the C. psittaci sequences were used to amplify a C. pneumoniae template in overlapping segments of the gene. Sequence data for 1,554 bases indicated that the levels of homology of C. pneumoniae with C. psittaci and C. trachomatis were 96.19 and 94.07%, respectively. These data support the results of previous biochemical and developmental studies indicating that C. pneumoniae is more closely related to C. psittaci than to C. trachomatis.
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