Summary: Restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) of rRNA genes were evaluated as a tool for intra- and inter-species differentiation of isolates. RFLPs from a collection of 20 clinical isolates and five ATCC strains representing five spp. ( and ) were obtained by hybridization of Southern blots of III- or RI-digested genomic DNA with three probes: probe A, a 0.98 kb III fragment with a partial 16S rRNA gene sequence from ATCC 27337; probe B, cloned operon in plasmid pKK3535; and probe C, 16S and 23S rRNA. The hybridization patterns varied, but all yielded RFLPs useful for both intra- and inter-species differentiation. RFLPs of clinical isolates were closely related to each other and differed significantly from those of the ATCC type strains. The profiles of differed from those of the other four species studied, and based on the III- and RI-generated RFLPs, the strains in this species are more heterogeneous than the other four species studied.


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