Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis was used to examine the chromosomal polymorphisms existing within and between four closely related members of the species group, subsp. , and subsp. I was chosen as the restriction endonuclease for this study because it generated only a few well-separated chromosomal fragments. Each of the species and subspecies showed distinct I digest patterns. The strains examined in this study were collected over a 20-year period from various geographical locations. The results indicate that DNA fragment patterns are unique to each species and subspecies and represent a reasonably stable component in the chromosome structure. and demonstrated considerable conservation in chromosome structure as indicated by the large numbers of conserved I digest fragments. The polymorphisms found within each species appear to be linked to the species' character variability. The genome size of each strain was extrapolated from the I digest fragment pattern obtained by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. The average genome size for is 2,364 ± 119 kb; for strains from humans it is 2,600 ± 157 kb and for strains from goats it is 2,493 ± 15 kb; for subsp. it is 2,456 ± 71 kb; and for subsp. it is 2,276 ± 90 kb.


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