The lipoprotein I gene (oprI) of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 was cloned and sequenced. A high degree of homology was found between our cloned PAO1 gene sequence and two published oprI sequences. Specific oligonucleotides were designed to amplify the oprI gene by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The potential of either the complete gene sequence or the specific oligonucleotide primers as a tool for rapid strain identification was directly assessed against bacterial colonies by PCR or against purified genomic DNA by Southern blot analysis, using a number of representative strains within the Pseudomonadaceae. The oprI gene was found to be well conserved within RNA group I.