The phylogenetic positions of four rhizobial strains obtained from nodules of common bean plants ( L.) grown in an Austrian soil and of the Mexican bean isolate FL27 are described. Analysis of the 16S rRNA genes revealed sequences almost identical to that of the type strain, R602sp, with a maximum of two nucleotide substitutions. Comparison of the 16S rRNA gene sequences with those from other bacteria indicated highest similarity to sp. strain OK-50, IAM 12609, and DNA homology determined by DNA-DNA hybridization was high among the Austrian isolates and R602sp (45 to 90%) and ranged from 21 to 65% with FL27, but hybridization analysis revealed very low homology to the recognized common bean-nodulating species, bv. phaseoli, , and Ribosomal gene organization was studied by Southern hybridization with the 16S rRNA gene and temperature gradient gel electrophoresis, indicating identical organizations and the presence of three identical 16S rRNA copies in the genome of this species. The six strains investigated showed different plasmid profiles based on their geographical origins. We propose that the Austrian isolates and the Mexican strain FL27 are members of the species


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