1997 Volume 43 Issue 6 Pages 355-361
In an attempt to define the phylogenetical relationship among 17 phenotypically related species of genera Enterobacter, Pantoea, Serratia, Klebsiella and Erwinia, we determined almost all of their groE operon sequences using the polymerase chain reaction direct sequencing method. The number of nucleotide substitutions per site was 0.12±0.030. The value was 3.6-fold higher than that of 16S rDNA. As a result, we were successful in constructing molecular phylogenetic trees which had a finer resolution than that based on the 16S rDNA sequences. The phylogenetic trees based on the nucleotide sequences and deduced amino acid sequences of groE operons indicated that the members of genera Enterobacter, Pantoea and Klebsiella were closely related to each other, while Serratia and Erwinia species except Erwinia carotovora, made distinct clades. The close relationship between Enterobacter aerogenes and Klebsiella pneumoniae, that had been suggested by biochemical tests and DNA hybridization, was also supported by our molecular phylogenetic trees.