Reference strains of Burkholderia cocovenenans and Burkholderia vandii were compared with strains of other Burkholderia species using SDS-PAGE of whole-cell proteins, DNA-DNA hybridization and extensive biochemical characterization. Burkholderia gladioli and B. cocovenenans were indistinguishable in the chemotaxonomic and biochemical analyses. Burkholderia plantarii and B. vandii had indistinguishable whole-cell protein patterns but the B. vandii type strain differed from B. plantarii strains in several biochemical tests. The DNA-DNA binding levels (higher than 70%) indicated that (i) B. gladioli and B. cocovenenans, and (ii) B. plantarii and B. vandii each represent a single species. It is concluded that B. cocovenenans and B. vandii are junior synonyms of B. gladioli and B. plantarii, respectively.