Complete nucleotide sequences of the 16S rDNAs were determined from Thiocapsa and Amoebobacter species, including all available type strains and some additional isolates. The distance-matrix analysis and the dendrogram for estimating the genetic relationships revealed that the investigated strains were found in two major clusters within the Chromatiaceae. One cluster comprises all Amoebobacter species, Thiocapsa roseopersicina and several isolates related to Thiocapsa roseopersicina. Representatives of the species Amoebobacter roseus, Amoebobacter pendens and Thiocapsa roseopersicina, the so called 'Thiocapsa roseopersicina group', are very closely related, justifying their inclusion into one genus, Thiocapsa, for which an emended description is presented. Amoebobacter purpureus and Amoebobacter pedioformis formed two separate lines of descent with less than 93% (89.6-92.9%) similarity to strains of the 'Thiocapsa roseopersicina group'. Therefore, they will be considered as two separate genera. As a consequence, an emended description is presented for the genus Amoebobacter, with Amoebobacter purpureus as the new type species and A. pedioformis is transferred to Thiolamprovum pedioforme gen. nov., comb. nov. Two species, Thiocapsa pfennigii and Thiocapsa halophila, which have been classified with the genus Thiocapsa because of their morphological properties, were found within another major cluster of the Chromatiaceae and are only distantly phylogenetically related to the first cluster with 88.4-90.6% and 90.4-92.2% sequence similarity, respectively.