rRNA sequences are usually highly conserved among species. In Enterobacteriaceae we have shown that does not have an equivalent to the 23S rRNA of but its 23S rRNA is cleaved into two smaller species. This cleavage appears to be a result of a difference between the and rRNA sequences rather than to differences in ribonuclease activity. We have surveyed a wide range of Enterobacteriaceae for the presence or absence of 23S rRNA and found this rRNA species to be present in all strains of and and all salmonellae examined except . All cultures, isolated at different times and from several different countries, lack an intact 23S rRNA. Thus, the presence or absence of this rRNA species is an excellent diagnostic characteristic for .


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