A rapid procedure for the identification of fluorescent pseudomonads, based on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and restriction fragment analysis of 16S rDNA genes is described. Thirty-one strains belonging to 10 different Pseudomonas species of the Pseudomonas fluorescens rRNA branch were characterized. Amplified rDNA was digested with 13 different restriction endonucleases. The combined data from restriction analysis enabled the definition of 17 different 16S rDNA genotypes. All type strains belonging to different species were differentiated. The good correlation between grouping obtained using restriction analysis with other molecular classification criteria demonstrates the value of the described method to characterize rapidly fluorescent Pseudomonas strains at the species level.