The genetic relationships of and of the serovars were assessed from measurements of DNA reassociation. A study of 8 to 10 strains each of 13 of the most commonly encountered serovars revealed that the levels of intragroup DNA relatedness for most serovars ranged from 90 to 100%. In contrast, serovars canadensis and kenyae consisted of two DNA relatedness groups, each of which exhibited levels of intragroup relatedness of 80% or higher and levels of intergroup relatedness of 60 to 70%. Analyses of DNA relatedness performed with all of the serovars revealed that the taxa were segregated into 11 phena differentiated from each other at about the 65% level; within each phenon the level of relatedness was 80% or higher. Three phena contained strains belonging to more than one serovar; serovars alesti and dendrolimus clustered in phenon 1, serovars aizawai, kurstaki, galleriae, and morrisoni clustered in phenon 7, and serovar darmstadiensis and some strains of serovar kenyae clustered in phenon 11. The levels of DNA relatedness between and strains ranged between 65 and 70%. My results suggest that many of the serovars are genetically distinct but closely related.


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