We developed a method for polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of whole cells of spp. The major advantage of this method is its ease of operation since it obviates the need for the preparation of bacterial extracts. Whole-cell samples were prepared by incubating washed, packed cells in 6 M urea at 37°C for 24 h. The results of disc gel electrophoresis of these whole-cell samples were compared with the results of electrophoresis of soluble protein extracts of the bacteria run under the same conditions. A large number of bands were obtained with the whole-cell preparations, and these bands were resolved better than bands obtained with the protein extracts. A total of 22 strains of spp. were examined by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of urea-treated whole cells. A cluster analysis of the polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis band patterns showed that the strains clustered first according to serotype and then according to species. Overall, two main divisions were identified, one containing , and and one containing and . This method should be a valuable tool in studying the taxonomy of spp.


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