I-CeuI fragments of four Shigella species were analyzed to investigate their taxonomic distance from Escherichia coli and to collect substantiated evidence of their genetic relatedness because their ribosomal RNA sequences and similarity values of their chromosomal DNA/DNA hybridization had proved their taxonomic identity. I-CeuI digestion of genomic DNAs yielded seven fragments in every species, indicating that all the Shigella species contained seven sets of ribosome RNA operons. To determine the fragment identities, seven genes were selected from each I-CeuI fragment of E. coli strain K-12 and used as hybridization probes. Among the four Shigella species, S. boydii and S. sonnei showed hybridization patterns similar to those observed for E. coli strains; each gene probe hybridized to the I-CeuI fragments with sizes similar to that of the corresponding E. coli fragment. In contrast, S. dysenteriae and S. flexneri showed distinct patterns; rcsF and rbsR genes that located on different I-CeuI fragments in E. coli, fragments D and E, were found to co-locate on a fragment. Further analysis using an additional three genes that located on fragment D in K-12 revealed that some chromosome rearrangements involving the fragments corresponding to fragments D and E of K-12 took place in S. dysenteriae and S. flexneri.