The intron-encoded enzyme I- provides an excellent tool for rapidly examining the organization of genomes of related species of bacteria. strains belonging to serovars O1 and O139 have 9 I- I sites in their genomes, and strains belonging to serovars non-O1 and non-O139 have 10 I- I sites in their genomes. This information can be used as a criterion to differentiate O1 strains from non-O1 and non-O139 strains. To our knowledge, intraspecies variation in the number of operons has not been reported in any other organism. Our data revealed extensive restriction fragment length polymorphism based on a comparison of the I- I digestion profiles of strains belonging to different serovars and biovars. From the analysis of partial digestion products, I- I macrorestriction maps of several classical, El Tor, and O139 strains were constructed. While the linkage maps are conserved within biovars, linkage maps vary substantially between biovars.


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