RNA sequence analysis has been used to examine the phylogenetic position and structure of the genus Campylobacter. A complete 5S rRNA sequence was determined for two strains of Campylobacter jejuni and extensive partial sequences of the 16S rRNA were obtained for several strains of C. jejuni and Wolinella succinogenes. In addition limited partial sequence data were obtained from the 16S rRNAs of isolates of C. coli, C. laridis, C. fetus, C. fecalis, and C. pyloridis. It was found that W. succinogenes is specifically related to, but not included, in the genus Campylobacter as presently constituted. Within the genus significant diversity was noted. C. jejuni, C. coli and C. laridis are very closely related but the other species are distinctly different from one another. C. pyloridis is without question the most divergent of the Campylobacter isolates examined here and is sufficiently distinct to warrant inclusion in a separate genus. In terms of overall position in bacterial phylogeny, the Campylobacter/Wolinella cluster represents a deep branching most probably located within an expanded version of the Division containing the purple photosynthetic bacteria and their relatives. The Campylobacter/Wolinella cluster is not specifically includable in either the alpha, beta or gamma subdivisions of the purple bacteria.