Strains of all species, pathovars pathogenic for cereals and grasses and strains of pv. were compared by SDS-PAGE of proteins, gas chromatography of fatty acid methyl esters and DNA-DNA hybridization. The groupings derived using all three methods correlated well with each other. Strains of and pv. were heterogeneous, each comprising two groups (A and B); group A contained the type strain and pathovar reference strain, respectively. Besides the recognized species , , , , and , the following five centres of variation could be delineated at DNA-binding levels of above 60%: (i) a group consisting of pathovars (the ‘ group’), (the ‘ group’) and ; (ii) type A together with pv. type A and pv. ; (iii) a group of pv. type B and pv. ; (iv) strains isolated from ; and (v) strains isolated from sugarcane in Guadeloupe. The type B strains of appeared to be misclassified in . An interim proposal for an improved classification of is presented on the basis of the data.


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