Whether Vibrio mimicus is a variant of Vibrio cholerae or a separate species has been the subject of taxonomic controversy. A genomic analysis was undertaken to resolve the issue. The genomes of V. mimicus MB451, a clinical isolate, and VM223, an environmental isolate, comprise ca. 4,347,971 and 4,313,453 bp and encode 3,802 and 3,290 ORFs, respectively. As in other vibrios, chromosome I (C-I) predominantly contains genes necessary for growth and viability, whereas chromosome II (C-II) bears genes for adaptation to environmental change. C-I harbors many virulence genes, including some not previously reported in V. mimicus, such as mannose-sensitive hemagglutinin (MSHA), and enterotoxigenic hemolysin (HlyA); C-II encodes a variant of Vibrio pathogenicity island 2 (VPI-2), and Vibrio seventh pandemic island II (VSP-II) cluster of genes. Extensive genomic rearrangement in C-II indicates it is a hot spot for evolution and genesis of speciation for the genus Vibrio. The number of virulence regions discovered in this study (VSP-II, MSHA, HlyA, type IV pilin, PilE, and integron integrase, IntI4) with no notable difference in potential virulence genes between clinical and environmental strains suggests these genes also may play a role in the environment and that pathogenic strains may arise in the environment. Significant genome synteny with prototypic pre-seventh pandemic strains of V. cholerae was observed, and the results of phylogenetic analysis support the hypothesis that, in the course of evolution, V. mimicus and V. cholerae diverged from a common ancestor with a prototypic sixth pandemic genomic backbone.