A total of 33 strains of fast-growing soybean rhizobia isolated from soil and soybean nodules collected in China and 25 strains belonging to the genera , and were compared by numerical taxonomic techniques, using 240 different characters. Our results indicated that all of the strains of fast-growing soybean rhizobia which we examined are closely related (guanine-plus-cytosine content, 59.9 to 63.8 mol%) and are separated from and at the generic level. Based on numerical taxonomy, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) base ratio determinations, DNA-DNA hybridization data, serological analysis data, the composition of extracellular gum, bacteriophage typing data, and soluble protein patterns, we propose that the fast-growing soybean rhizobia represent members of a new genus rather than a species of ; we propose gen. nov. as an appropriate generic name. The type species of the new genus is comb. nov. (basonym, Scholla and Elkan 1984), and the type strain is strain ATCC 35423 (= USDA 205). For the other species we propose the name sp. nov.; the type strain of this species is strain CCBAU 110, which has been deposited in the Beijing Agricultural University Culture Collection, Beijing, People's Republic of China.


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