Variation among isolates of was examined by using restriction fragmentation patterns and the PCR performed with arbitrary and sequence-specific oligonucleotide primers. The patterns were compared with the patterns generated from strains of closely related species belonging to the “ group” of bacteria, including , and . All profiles were identical for each of 18 restriction enzymes, each of 10 arbitrary PCR primers, and a repetitive extragenic palindrome-specific PCR primer. The PCR profiles generated with a coliphage M13-based primer exhibited slight pattern variation in a 400- to 500-bp band region. The profiles were unique compared with the profiles of the other species examined. In these other species, strain-to-strain variations were observed. Our results showed that isolates of are almost completely homogeneous, indicating a clonal lineage, and are distinct from other members of the group and that , as a species in its own right, may have evolved only relatively recently.


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