SDS-PAGE of total bacterial proteins was applied to the classification of 25 Sudanese and five Kenyan strains isolated from the root nodules of Acacia senegal and Prosopis chilensis. Twenty strains were also studied by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis (MLEE) and the whole 16S rRNA gene was sequenced from two strains representing the two major clusters. These results, together with the previously reported numerical taxonomy analysis, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis studies, DNA-DNA dot-blot hybridization, genomic fingerprinting using repetitive sequence-based PCR, DNA base composition analysis, DNA-DNA reassociation analysis, partial sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene and RFLP analysis of the amplified 16S rRNA gene, showed that all 30 strains belong to the genus Sinorhizobium. Two of the strains grouped with Sinorhizobium saheli and seven with Sinorhizobium terangae, while the rest did not cluster with any of the established species. The majority of the strains formed two phenotypically and genotypically distinct groups and we therefore propose that these strains should be classified as two new species, Sinorhizobium arboris sp. nov. and Sinorhizobium kostiense sp. nov.
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