The present study compared the capsid gene (g23) of T4-type bacteriophages (phages) in Mn nodules with those in the plow layer soil and subsoils of two Japanese paddy fields by applying the primers MZIA1bis and MZIA6 to DNA extracts from the nodules and soils. The deduced amino acid sequences of the g23 genes in the Mn nodules were similar to those in the plow layer soil and in the subsoils. This result indicated that similar T4-type phage communities developed at these sites and that the diversity of T4-type phage communities was wide enough to cover those in the plow layer soil and in the subsoils. The majority of g23 clones formed several clusters with the clones and phages obtained from far-apart paddy fields, and the sequences of two clones were completely identical to a phage and a clone from other paddy fields at the nucleotide or amino acid level, indicating horizontal transfer of g23 genes between those paddy fields. A clone with a long nucleotide residue (686 bp) and a distribution remote from the other clones in the phylogenetic tree indicated that there were many uncharacterized, novel g23 genes in the paddy fields.