In a recent publication (S. M. Sievert, T. Brinkhoff, G. Muyzer, W. Ziebis, and J. Kuever, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 65:3834-3842, 1999) we described spatiotemporal changes in the bacterial community structure at a shallow-water hydrothermal vent in the Aegean Sea near the isle of Milos (Greece). Here we describe identification and phylogenetic analysis of the predominant bacterial populations at the vent site and their distribution at the vent site as determined by sequencing of DNA molecules (bands) excised from denaturing gradient gels. A total of 36 bands could be sequenced, and there were representatives of eight major lineages of the domain Bacteria. Cytophaga-Flavobacterium and Acidobacterium were the most frequently retrieved bacterial groups. Less than 33% of the sequences exhibited 90% or more identity with cultivated organisms. The predominance of putative heterotrophic populations in the sequences retrieved is explained by the input of allochthonous organic matter at the vent site.