To determine deoxyribonucleic acid sequence variability within ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) genes and flanking regions of , plasmids containing parts of rRNA genes from sp. strain PG50 or type strain PG21 were used as probes to detect restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs). A total of 26 strains selected to show either maximum diversity (14 strains) or possible cluster formation (12 strains) with respect to antigenic and genetic composition were included in the study. Although most of the RFLPs observed could be explained by variation in restriction enzyme cleavage sites outside the rRNA cistrons, variation in restriction enzyme cleavage sites within rRNA cistrons was also observed. RFLPs within the rRNA genes were demonstrated in three strains from the group selected to show heterogeneity. RFLPs outside the rRNA genes were equally pronounced in the two groups of strains.


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