Phylogeny and shared conserved inserts in proteins provide evidence that Verrucomicrobia are the closest known free-living relatives of chlamydiae.

@article{Griffiths2007PhylogenyAS,
  title={Phylogeny and shared conserved inserts in proteins provide evidence that Verrucomicrobia are the closest known free-living relatives of chlamydiae.},
  author={Emma J. Griffiths and Radhey S. Gupta},
  journal={Microbiology},
  year={2007},
  volume={153 Pt 8},
  pages={
          2648-54
        }
}
The evolutionary relationships of Chlamydiales, Verrucomicrobia and Planctomycetes were studied based on phylogenetic trees for a concatenated dataset of 11 widely distributed proteins, as well as conserved inserts in several proteins. In phylogenetic trees, a close relationship of chlamydiae to Verrucomicrobium was supported by different phylogenetic methods. Although the Planctomycetes branched close to the chlamydiae-Verrucomicrobia clade, their specific affiliation to these groups was… 

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