A collection of 72 reference strains of the complex of clones recovered from a variety of hosts and environmental sources in diverse geographic locations has been established for use in studies of variation in natural populations. Included are strains of the serovars (including variety ) and The strains, which have been characterized by enzyme electrophoresis for allelic variation in 24 chromosomal structural genes and represent 48 distinctive multilocus genotypes (electrophoretic types or ETs), exemplify the full range of genotypic variation in the complex. Evolutionary genetic relationships among the ETs are indicated in a phylogenetic tree generated by the neighbour-joining method from a matrix of Nei's standard genetic distance.


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