The genomic DNAs of 95 culture collection and hospital subsp. strains of various origins, as well as the genomic DNAs of other coagulase-positive species, were cleaved with restriction endonuclease I and subjected to pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. The levels of similarity of the I restriction patterns of the subsp. strains varied from 30 to 100%, which is considered characteristic of this species; thus, these organisms belonged to the same species restriction group. Within this range of similarity values 13 intraspecies restriction groups were identified, and each group consisted of strains whose levels of similarity ranged from 65 to 100%. subsp. CCM 885 (T = type strain) belonged to the major intraspecies restriction group that comprised 39% of the strains which we studied. The strains of the other coagulase-positive staphylococci, including subsp. , and subsp. , clustered with their type strains in separate restriction groups. subsp. exhibited almost no similarity to these species. We found 44-kb I fragments in all of the subsp. and subsp. strains studied, and these fragments are considered characteristic of the species The high level of homology of these fragments was confirmed by the results of DNA hybridization experiments in which we used representatives of individual intraspecies restriction groups. Of the other staphylococci studied, only and one strain of contained these fragments. However, the levels of homology between these fragments and the fragments of were found to be very low.


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