Thirty-nine selected strains belonging to different genomic species were clustered on the basis of their susceptibility to 17 antibiotics, pigment production and ability to nodulate plants of the genus and/or the family Elaeagnaceae, or the family Casuarinaceae. The majority of the strains studied fell into three cluster groups. A, E and C, corresponding to the three host-specificity groups, and . Within the groups, eight composite clusters, consisting of at least two strains, and five single-member clusters were recovered at the 0·74 distance level, in good agreement with levels of genetic relatedness between the strains. In addition, five strains were recovered as single-member clusters not in the cluster groups, four of them representing single-member genospecies and one strain not assigned to any known genospecies. The concordance between the phenotypic clusters and the genospecies described previously shows that the grouping may reflect the taxonomic structure of the genus . For some clusters, differentiating phenotypic characters were found which may be useful for species definition.


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